Colorado head coach Tad Boyle gave the new guy the credit for the practice drill that helped set the this week for the Buffaloes' 91-72 win Thursday night against Stanford.
As the Buffs prepared for the Cardinal, Boyle's squad went through a drill in which each team's points only counted if the baskets arrived via an assist from a teammate.
The exercise was a new one for the Buffs, and the brainchild of first-year assistant Bill Grier.
"Bill Grier has brought a lot of nice ideas to our staff," Boyle said. "What's nice about coach is when things are tough or if things aren't going well, which has happened this year, he's always got a thought. He's always got an idea. They're not always good, but this one was really good. He's got an opinion. He's got a suggestion."
While assistants Jean Prioleau and Mike Rohn have been with Boyle throughout his seven-season tenure at CU — and actually have a relationship with Boyle dating back to their time together as assistants at Wichita State beginning in 2000 — Grier joined the Buffs' staff this season after former assistant Rodney Billups left the program to take the lead job at his alma mater, the University of Denver.
Unlike Prioleau and Rohn, Grier owns head coach experience at the Division I level, having coached at San Diego following a wildly successful 15-year run as an assistant at Gonzaga. While CU's coaching staff has struggled to press the right buttons with a 2016-17 team that has been inconsistent all season, Grier's wrinkle this week paid dividends as CU posted a season-best 25 assists against Stanford on 35 field goals.
"Jean Prioleau and Mike Rohn are terrific coaches, but they have not been head coaches," Boyle said. "Mike, Jean, and I have been together for seven years now, and if you go back to Wichita State 12 or 13 years. Sometimes the new ideas aren't there. Coach Grier has done a great job of bringing some new ideas and new energy to our staff. I give him credit for that."
Thursday's victory featured a rebound performance from CU freshman guard Deleon Brown, who had gone 0-for-8 in the previous two games after missing three games due to a concussion.
Brown went 2-for-3 from 3-point range and 4-for-5 overall against the Cardinal, giving him his third double-digit scoring effort of the season and his first in league play. Brown's 10 points accounted for more than he had scored in his previous five games combined.
"It was definitely good to see that first one go in," Brown said. "But I just have to say it's a credit to our ball handling. We had six guys in double-digits. That means we were moving the ball around and being selfless looking for our opportunities"
Freshman guard Bryce Peters missed his third game due to an indefinite suspension stemming from a violation of team rules...Wesley Gordon went 4-for-4 and has made his past eight field goal attempts...George King has gone 8-for-13 on 3-pointers in the past three games...With 11 3-pointers, the Buffs reached double-figures for the fifth time this year and the first time since a 12-for-22 game against Oregon State on Jan. 26...CU's 91 points and 35 field goals were season-highs...Boyle tied Forrest Cox for third-place on CU's all-time coaching wins list with 147.