December 4, 2012
Boyle fighting to keep his team hungry
BOULDER, Colo.- Tad Boyle's first two years in Boulder saw him take an underdog program and get his players to relish that role. In his third year, he faces the challenge of making his program relish the role of a favorite.
The Buffs might have gone into Wyoming as the betting dog but the No. 19 ranking in the AP Top 25 surely suggested something else. As did postgame comments from Spencer Dinwiddie.
"We're much better than the team that we played," Dinwiddie said. "Not to take anything away from them, but we lost it."
Some will call that response sour grapes or disrespectful. You could also call it the changing of the guard at Colorado, one where players expect to win.
But not all impressions of the program have changed.
"They still picked us sixth in the Pac-12," Boyle said of the preseason media poll.
As he often says though, it is the internal expectations that matter the most to these Buffs. Boyle didn't outright say that his team has become overconfident and cocky but he did suggest that they may have lost their "hunger" after the Wyoming game.
"We did start out 6-0, we did crack the top twenty-five," he said on Monday. "That changed, maybe, our mentality. There's no question it changed our opponents mentality. We didn't handle it very well either game
that's on us. We have to change our way of thinking."
That started on Sunday night when the team finally had a chance to sit down and watch film of their loss.
"It was embarrassing," Boyle said. "We can't beat people with our coolness. We have to beat people with our grit, our determination, execution and our toughness. If that's not our mentality then we're in for some rude awakenings."
Askia Booker, who shot just one-for-ten against the Cowboys, echoed that statement.
"We have to come together in those situations," he said of a the team's reaction to a close game. "I think we came apart a little bit."
Boyle said his team's game against Colorado State on Wednesday will be a "knock down, drag them out" kind of affair where the Rams will likely send two guards back on defense to prevent the Buffs' transition game.
"There's going to be some games that we're going to have to grind it out in the half court," he said. "We did it against air force in the second half because we guarded them."
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