Game day notes: CU Buffs trying to regain form on the glass

Tad Boyle notched conference win No. 100 against Arizona

BOULDER, CO - Feb. 6, 2021: ...
D’Shawn Schwartz and the Colorado Buffaloes go into Monday’s game against Oregon State having been outrebounded in four consecutive games for the first time in nine years. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Colorado just might have the most efficient, and deepest, offense in coach Tad Boyle’s 11 seasons in Boulder.

However, Boyle has built the Buffaloes’ program around defense and rebounding. And the 2020-21 Buffs are shaping up to be perhaps the weakest rebounding team during Boyle’s tenure.

Although CU pulled out a much-needed victory against Arizona on Saturday, the Buffs also reached a frustrating milestone on the glass. The Buffs will head into Monday evening’s contest against Oregon State (5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) having been outrebounded in four consecutive games.

The Buffs had not been outrebounded in three consecutive games since the middle of the 2014-15 season. It is the first time in nine years CU has been outrebounded in four straight games, dating back to when the Buffs were edged on the glass in five consecutive games late in the 2011-12 season.

Oddly enough, that run of five straight games getting outrebounded occurred during one of the most memorable hot streaks in program history. CU was outrebounded in the final two games of the regular season that year — road losses against Oregon and Oregon State — before getting outrebounded in the first three games of the Pac-12 tournament.

CU, of course, won all three of those games, and then finally broke the streak by outrebounding Arizona while winning the conference championship game. So, clearly, the Buffs’ current struggles on the glass doesn’t necessarily mean there is no chance of winning in March. And, granted, the Buffs weren’t exactly dominated on the glass during the first three games of the current streak, as Washington State (twice) and Utah combined to outrebound the Buffs by just four rebounds overall.

The Buffs head into Monday’s game ranked fourth in league games in rebounding margin (plus-2.58) while OSU arrives ranked ninth (minus-2.09). Still, it is an issue where Boyle certainly wants to see improvement as the season hits the stretch run. With players like Tyler Bey, Josh Scott, and Andre Roberson leading the way, the Buffs haven’t had an individual team rebounding leader average under six rebounds per game since Alec Burks averaged a team-best 5.0 rebounds during the last pre-Boyle season of 2009-10.

Heading into the OSU game, Evan Battey and Jeriah Horne share the team lead with 5.2 rebounds per game.

Notable

The win against Arizona was the 100th conference win for Boyle at CU. Only Sox Walseth (148) has won more conference games in program history…CU point guard McKinley Wright IV has moved into 10th-place for the most made field goals in team history (592). He needs four more to surpass Askia Booker for ninth place and eight to match Scott at eight-place…The Buffs began the day Monday ranked 17th in the NET and 18th at KenPom.com.