Colorado Week’s Burning Question: Is Boulder a Brief Stop For Boyle?Posted by AMurawa on July 28th, 2012
It’s that time again, as Adam Butler of Pachoops.com joins us again for our Burning Question for the Colorado program, concerning the long term plans of head coach Tad Boyle.
In two years at Colorado, head coach Tad Boyle has the Buffalo program headed in the right direction, just missing the NCAA Tournament in his first year then sneaking in last year in what had been thought of as a rebuilding year. With a talented recruiting class joining returnees like Andre Roberson, Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker, there is plenty of young talent in the CU program. But, with his early success as a head coach, Boyle is regarded as a hot prospect and this offseason was even briefly tied to the open Kansas State job. Is Boulder just a brief stopover for Boyle on his way to greener pastures? And if so, can he lay the foundation for a successful Colorado program in his time there?
Adam Butler: Big fan of Lord Big Dome in Boulder. He’s got a good thing going on over there at home. Yes, I said home because Tad Boyle is a Coloradan through-and-through. He’s tasting success in his backyard and that’s incredibly sticky. While his dream job may be his alma-mater, Kansas, I think that Tad is in a very happy place and it’s going to take a jump into whatever you call the tier right below elite to pull him away from Colorado. Which is ultimately great news for Buffs fans because for him to get drug out of his home state, he’ll have to put CU in a place where he’s being sought after for high profile jobs. That is to say, Colorado becomes really good. Which leads me to the second part of the question: can he build such a program? Yes. Colorado has joined the Pac-12 at exactly the right time when there hasn’t been a torch bearer for a few years now. The conference absolutely bottomed out last season and is now ripe for the picking. Have Arizona and UCLA made strides to get back into that upper echelon? Of course and we knew they would. But after those two, it’s up for grabs. So why not Tad Boyle’s Buffs? He’s bringing in what some are calling a top-25 class, has talented youth returning, and Andre Roberson is as unique a talent as the conference has. The Keg (Coors Event Center where the Buffs play home games) is becoming one of the toughest places to play in the conference. The Buffs are 34-4 in two seasons there under Boyle. So, is he just biding his time in the Rockies awaiting a bigger gig? I don’t believe so as the allure of home is too appealing and he’s still got work to do.
Connor Pelton: Until you find yourself on the sidelines in Lexington, Columbus, Syracuse, etc, any job is really just a stopover if you want it to be. Having said that, however, you’ve gotta think Boyle is pretty comfortable in Boulder right now. He has shown steady improvement over the last two seasons, and he should be able to ride the talent on this year’s roster to a top three finish in the Pac and a Sweet 16 appearance. Being a home-state guy, it would have to take a high profile job in a major conference to get him to leave, and one of those offers would only be extended if Buffalo basketball continued on it’s upward trend. Fans are flocking to the Coors Event Center, and with with the noise level and altitude factor, it’s right behind Arizona as one of the toughest places to play in the conference. Hell, he even helped bring the C-Unit out to Staples for the Pac-12 Tournament. Most important, however, is the second thing you mentioned; the good recruiting class coming in. If Boyle can continue to bring in Top 25 classes, the Buffs will be relevant on the national stage for years to come; even if he leaves in the near future.
Andrew Murawa: For me, the problem with seeing Tad Boyle as the guy for the long term future of the Colorado program is the fact that he is a really, really good coach. Meaning, that anytime a job of any importance opens up, the people in charge of those searches need to have Boyle on their radar. Turning a once moribund Colorado program into a rapidly improving squad that has suddenly grabbed the imagination of fans in Boulder is no small accomplishment. He’s proven along the way that he can X-and-O with the best of them, he develops talent extremely well and he’s a hard worker on the recruiting trail with a couple successful classes in his back pocket. While the eventual final landing spot for Boyle may be the Kansas job, if Bill Self ever decides to move on, I just have to believe that any time a near-elite job opens up, Boyle’s name will at least come up. But, in the meantime, the mere fact that this Buffalo team is exciting the fan base, packing the Foam Dome and is regularly in the NCAA Tournament conversation means that CU basketball is at a level that is has never been at before. While it will certainly hurt if Boyle heads somewhere else, at this point all signs point to the program being left off at a much higher level than we he first jump on board.