Tad Boyle doesn’t have an explanation for it. Neither does George King, the only current Colorado men’s basketball player who has made two previous appearances at Colorado State’s Moby Arena.
The explanations may be difficult to discern, yet the mystery doesn’t alter the reality. During King’s five seasons at CU, the Buffs have played far better on the road against their rivals from Fort Collins than they have at home. It’s a trend King and the Buffs hope to continue Saturday when they visit the Rams once again (11 a.m., AT&T Sports Network) in the 128th edition of the rivalry.
“I have no clue. I have no clue at all,” King said in trying to explain why the road team has won the past four matchups between the programs. “Hopefully that doesn’t end Saturday. Hopefully we can come out with a win. And hopefully next year the guys can secure (our) home court. I don’t know if the road team is more prepared. I don’t know what it is. But hopefully we can game plan well enough for these guys that we can come out with a victory on the road.”
King is in unique position in that a victory by CU Saturday would allow the Buffs’ senior guard to go through life bragging about being part of three victories at Moby Arena.
King played six minutes at Moby as true freshman in 2013 when the Buffs pulled out a 67-62 win, and he was one of six CU players who scored in double-figures in 2015 when CU recorded an 88-77 victory at CSU.
On the other hand, King was sitting courtside during a redshirt season in 2014 when the Rams escaped the Coors Events Center with a two-point win, and he was one of several CU players who struggled during a largely forgettable home loss to CSU last year, finishing with almost as many turnovers (four) as points (five) in a 72-58 CSU win.
Saturday will be the first true road game for the Buffs, and King is more interested in seeing how the talented but very youthful Buffs respond than the personal milestone of potentially netting three wins at Moby Arena.
“This is huge. After this game, we’re going to see what kind of guys we really have,” King said. “Hopefully we have the kind of guys I think we do have. I haven’t thought about (three wins at Moby) but that would be cool. That would be nice to say I’ve gone undefeated at Moby Arena.”
After last year’s performance Boyle described it as one of the worst performances of his CU tenure, and a year later he hasn’t backed down from that stance. The Buffs shot just .322 from the floor, which included a .235 mark after halftime and a final overall 3-point effort of 3-for-19.
“No explanation, other than maybe the home team isn’t ready to play. Maybe they’re counting on their crowd and maybe the crowd doesn’t show up. Maybe the crowd doesn’t give them energy,” Boyle said. “When you play Colorado State, you have to beat them. Whether you’re home or on the road, you can’t count on anything. But I have no real explanation.
“(Last year) was the worst game we played, not because it was CSU, we were just flat. We didn’t move the ball. We didn’t guard the ball. We just weren’t any good. Not taking anything away from CSU, because they came in here and beat us. But it was the worst game certainly that I’ve coached in my seven years here.”