Colorado Week: A State Of The Program AddressPosted by AMurawa on July 28th, 2012
After a week looking at the Colorado basketball program, there’s time for one final post: our state of the program address. And, as CU fans likely agree, the state of the program is… pretty darn strong – arguably stronger than it has ever been. Remember, this is a program that has been to only 11 NCAA Tournaments in its history, and just three since the field expanded to 64 in 1985. In 112 years of basketball and closing in on 2300 total games played, the team is just 63 games above .500. To put that in context, they’re 22 games above .500 in the last two seasons, made one NCAA Tourney and just missed another (and the argument could be made that they should have made that one as well). The last two years they’ve won at least 24 games – the first time in the program’s history with back-to-back seasons of that many wins.
Better yet, the immediate future looks great as well. They’ve got a talented group of young returnees plus a good looking freshman class coming in and, perhaps most importantly, it looks like they’ve got the right guy in the hot seat, as Tad Boyle has shown a knack in just two head coaching jobs for getting programs headed in the right direction. All of this has combined to get the CU fanbase as excited about basketball as they’ve ever been. Last season the team set school records for average attendance and for total attendance for conference games, breaking records that had been set the previous year, along the way combining with the 5,000-foot-plus elevation to turn the Coors Event Center into a substantial homecourt advantage. Last year, the Buffs were 14-2 at home, and the year before that, 15-2. In short, a trip to Boulder is now a fearsome proposition.
But, as is the question any time a new head coach brings unprecedented success to a once moribund program, are the last two years a sign of sustained change or is this merely a blip that could disappear once a more blue-blooded program sends Boyle an offer he can’t refuse? The good news is, Boyle seems to be doing all the right things to force the CU athletic department to commit to the basketball program as a means of keeping him around. While the expectation has to be that continued success could serve as resume-building for Boyle’s next stop, there is no reason why CU can’t take the kickstart of the recent success to announce its full scale commitment to basketball success. The athletic department has already upped Boyle’s contract after year one, it has opened a brand new practice facility, and perhaps most importantly in terms of growing a sustained fan base, it has subsidized the student section’s trips to Los Angeles and Albuquerque last season for the Pac-12 and NCAA Tournaments, respectively. It certainly seems like Colorado is wholeheartedly looking to change the culture around the basketball program. And so far, it is succeeding.