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Game day notes: CU Buffs coach Tad Boyle caught between family, prized recruit at Boulder High playoff game

Full slate of action on deck on final day of Pac-12 play

BOULDER, CO - Jan. 2, 2020: ...
Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer
Coach Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes will face Southern Illinois in the first round of the Paradise Jam on Nov. 19.(Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

After 25 years as a collegiate coach and 10 as the leader at the University of Colorado, it’s not often Tad Boyle gets cornered into a situation he hasn’t faced before.

Yet it happened Wednesday night.

Unlike most days and nights in a gym, Boyle could do nothing but watch from the bleachers as Boulder High, featuring his son, senior Pete Boyle, was eliminated from the Class 5A state tournament by Columbine. And the player that did the most damage for Columbine was Luke O’Brien, who signed with the Buffs in November and will join the program next fall.

“I texted Luke the night before and I said I’m officially conflicted. But, I hope you get 50 and Boulder High wins,” Tad Boyle said. “And I told him after the game you got 33 and Boulder High lost. That wasn’t the deal. He played really well. Obviously I was sick to see my son and his friends and all the guys he’s played with all year, having their season come to an end. It’s never easy. I was proud of Boulder High. That was a heck of a high school basketball game. It could have gone either way. But Luke played well and Boulder High I thought played well. Could’ve played a little bit better down the stretch.”

O’Brien scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, accounting for all of the Rebels’ points in the final frame. He finished 12-for-20 from the field, including a 4-for-7 mark on 3-pointers, and recorded nine rebounds and four assists.

In Pete Boyle’s final high school game, he finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

“It’s a lot easier being on the sidelines that it is being in the stands, I can tell you that,” Tad Boyle said. “I’ve never been in that situation before. And I won’t ever be again. That’s a once in a lifetime deal.”

Pete Boyle will be following in the footsteps of his older brother, Jack, by continuing his career at Division III Pomona-Pitzer next year. Jack Boyle, a senior this season, helped lead the Sagehens to their second consecutive Division III NCAA Tournament this season, and on Thursday he posted 12 points and three rebounds in a first-round win against Centre.

Full slate

Going into the final day of Pac-12 Conference play on Saturday, the only spot that is settled for next week’s league tournament in Las Vegas is the No. 12 seed, which will be Washington. Here is a rundown of the matchups and the television info for a busy final day of conference play.

CU Buffs at Utah, 12:30 p.m. MT (Pac-12 Networks)

UCLA at USC, 1:15 p.m. MT (CBS)

Cal at Oregon State, 2:30 p.m. MT (Pac-12 Networks)

Washington State at Arizona State, 4:30 p.m. MT (Pac-12 Networks).

Washington at Arizona, 8 p.m. MT (ESPN)

Stanford at Oregon, 9 p.m. MT (FS1)


On Friday, Arizona’s Stone Gettings was named the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A transfer from Cornell, Gettings owns a 4.0 GPA in Arizona’s Eller School of Management…In his last two games against Utah, CU forward Evan Battey has shot 14-for-20 (.700) while averaging 16 points and seven rebounds…CU’s Tyler Bey needs seven points to surpass Larry Vaculik for 30th on the Buffs’ all-time scoring list…Buffs point guard McKinley Wright IV needs six assists to join Jay Humphries as the only CU players to collect 500 in their career. Wright also needs one steal to match Chauncey Billups for 18th all-time at CU.

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