Any Colorado fans believing the onset of a promising men's basketball season might dull the ache of the stunning football loss Saturday against Oregon State will be disheartened to hear coach Tad Boyle's assessment of his team's Black-and-Gold intra-squad scrimmage.
The Buffaloes don't play a game until the Nov. 13 opener at home against Drake. Yet according to Boyle's analysis, one might think it was his squad that suffered a potential season-crippling defeat last weekend.
"We're not very good. Transition defense. Taking care of the basketball. Sprinting the floor on offense. Playing with a sense of urgency. Boxing out. We weren't very good," Boyle said. "That's the thing when you have a Black-and-Gold scrimmage and you're looking at two ends. You may think the offense did something really good, but in reality the defense was just awful. And vise versa. You think, oh the defense got a steal. Well, the offense can't pass and catch. After watching the film, not very good."
Boyle was quick to note it was the poor performance of his returning players that sparked his ire, sparing freshmen Eli Parquet, Daylen Kountz and Jakub Dombek from the sharpest points of his critique. Yet with the Buffs hitting the two-week mark from the season opener, Boyle expressed clear concern about the state of his team.
"It's the little things that we don't think are as important as they are," Boyle said. "It may take a loss or two to make that happen. I hope not, because you know what losses in November and December do come March in our sport. They come back to haunt you. I hope we're not in a position where that happens. But if we don't figure it out, if we don't correct these mistakes we made on Saturday, it's inevitable. It's my job in the next nine practices that we have our team ready. Right now, we're not ready."
"After watching the film, I was really disappointed and, quite frankly, at times embarrassed at some of the mistakes we made. My job is to live in the truth. And I know the truth is coming with our schedule."
Dombek decision still pending
Whether the season-ending knee injury suffered by 7-foot center Dallas Walton opens a door of opportunity for Dombek remains to be seen. The 6-foot-11 rookie from the Czech Republic has impressed with his athleticism and ball skills, yet at 190 pounds the question as to whether he is strong enough to contribute at the Pac-12 level remains unanswered.
"We'll talk about that as we get closer to the 13th, but right now it's premature," Boyle said. "It's something we've talked about as a staff, but we're not even close to a decision. He's got the skills. Jakub's skill level is high. But the game is moving awfully quick for him. Jakub is still learning and trying to figure it out."
The Buffs will face Colorado Mines in an exhibition game for the second consecutive season Saturday afternoon (4 p.m.) at the CU Events Center. It will be CU's third consecutive Saturday with a live competition, following a closed scrimmage at SMU and last week's Black-and-Gold intra-squad scrimmage, and it will mark the Buffs' final live tune-up before the Nov. 13 season opener at home against Drake.
"I want to see consistency in terms of our effort, consistency in terms of our execution," Boyle said. "I'd like to see the things we've been working on since the summer start to bear fruit. I thought Saturday's scrimmage, I was pretty disappointing. But the most disappointing thing is if we, as coaches, have to coach effort, we don't have a chance. We can't coach effort. Effort has to be the price of admission."