football

Quotes: Boyle at Pac-12 Media Day

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CU men's basketball coach Tad Boyle and junior forward Andre Roberson took center stage around 12:30 pm (MST) at Pac-12 Media Day in San Francisco on Thursday. Below are their comments:

Opening statement...

Coach Tad Boyle: "It's good to be here
today. It's a great time in our lives to be Colorado
Buffaloes and be part of our basketball program.
There's a lot of excitement around our program
right now, obviously, coming off our finish last year.
But as I tell these guys in practice every day, that
was last year, and we're not going to talk about
that a lot.

"But I think, in terms of the media and when
you look at our program -- to give you some
perspective, it's our third year here-- it's
appropriate that André is with us today because it's
his third year in our program. Two years ago, new
staff, new players getting to know each other, it
was a whole new experience.

"Last year we were preparing a team that
had lost 80 percent of its scoring from the previous
year, so it was basically a brand-new team,
brand-new league. Now, here we are again in year
three, and we've got a brand-new team. We got
six freshmen, one senior, and thankfully we've got
a guy like this sitting next to me who is going to be
very important to us this year in the progress of our
team.

"Our team this year is going to be a work in
progress. We're young. We've got a lot of
inexperience, but we're going to be relying on guys
like André, guys like Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia
Booker as we get going here in about a week."

In your two years at Colorado,
you're 32-4 at home, it can't just be the altitude.
What can you say about the Coors Events
Center and the atmosphere up there?

Boyle: "I wish we were 36-0. I
can't tell you who we beat, but I can tell you who
we lost to in those four, and two of them shouldn't
have been losses. Altitude is part of it. I think that
outside of that, you look at our fan base. Andrew
Green, our sports information director, told me
yesterday we're 200 seats away from selling out
our home opener against Wofford on November
9th.

"So I think that will get done between now
and the 9th. And it will look at Colorado basketball
and the history of our sport and our university to be
in a position to talk about a sellout against a
non-conference opponent from a different part of
the country and have the Coors Events Center
sold out says a lot about our fans.

"I think our student section and our
community have rallied around this team over the
last two years, and you've just kind of felt it build
and build and build. Now it's incumbent upon us
as coaches and players to make sure that we
continue that excitement.

"But outside of the altitude, I think our
home-court advantage with our fans and our
student section has been phenomenal."

Talk about the Gangnam Style video
you guys did and how did that idea come
about...

Andre Roberson: "All right. Well, it all
started with -- I think it was a student in our athletic
building, and just kind of suggested a video for Buff
Madness and get everybody excited for
the Midnight Madness show. I feel like the guys
got a real kick out of it. They really wanted to do it
after seeing how much publicity the actual video
and how big the song was. So we just kind of felt
like we should do that and get the fans pumped up,
so it was good."

Boyle: "I loved it because it
showed the personality that these guys have away
from the court and away from basketball, and I
thought they did a great job. Even their dancing."

Despite winning the Pac-12
Tournament last year, you were only picked to
finish sixth in the conference. Why do you
think that is?

Roberson: "I'm not sure why
that is. I feel like we haven't gained enough
respect yet. I just feel like we've got to go out
there and work hard every day in practice,
continue to get better and just go out there and
continue to prove everybody wrong once again."

How did you fare in the Navy SEALs
exercises and who do you think emerged as
leaders on your team during that?

Roberson: "The program, it
was definitely a great experience for us, not just
only on a physical side but also on the mental side.
Just going through that, through the snow and the
sleet and that, I feel like it was great for our guys.
They got tougher, team bonding, and just fighting
through adversity."

Who do you think emerged as a
leader?

Roberson: "I feel like myself,
Askia Booker, Sabatino Chen, Spencer Dinwiddie
as well-- I feel like everybody stepped up and
played their part in the whole thing, so it was good."

With what André has done these last
couple years, do you feel like he's a little
underrated nationally?

Boyle: "Without a doubt. This
guy's the most underrated player on the national
scene. He's a guy who without question, in terms
of the returning players, I think is the best defender
in this league. He can guard all five positions on
the court. When you think about that, he can
guard a point guard to a 5-man and anybody in
between.

"He was third in the country in rebounding
last year. I don't know where he was rebounds per
minute, but he was right up there as well.

"If you think about what he's done for our
team over the last two years, a program that's won
24 games in back-to-back seasons, gone to the
final four of an NIT and then the second round of
the NCAA Tournament, and he's led us in
rebounding, blocked shots and steals. I look back
to his freshman year, he did that all playing about
20 minutes a game coming off the bench.

"The progress that he's made in his first
off-season was great, and I think the progress he's
made here in his second off-season as he goes
into his junior year has been very good as well,
because his game continues to evolve offensively.
He's making 3s now. He's putting the ball on the
floor.

"He's becoming a well-rounded basketball
player, not just a rebounder and not just a
defender. He can do a lot of things to help our
team win games.

"The thing he does probably better than any
player I've ever coached is he gets your team extra
possessions. Whether it's offensive rebounding or
a steal, whatever the case may be, he can affect
the game in a lot of different ways without scoring
the basketball. And he scored it pretty well for us
last year."

Following up on the predictions,
how do you see the top of the conference
shaking out and your guys' chances of getting
in that top four?

Boyle: "I'm not very good at
questions like that. I know our league recruited
very well. I think there's a lot of good young
players coming into our league and a lot of
nationally rated recruits. Arizona and UCLA
obviously come to mind. They did a great job on
the recruiting trail.

"I think we did a great job, too, but it's so
hard with young players to predict how quickly
they're going to acclimate to this league and
college basketball.

"I do think our league is going to be better
from top to bottom. I think you can make an
argument for every team in our league. Our team,
for example, we may not be as good early as we
were late last year, because of the leadership we
lost and the youth that we have, but you look at our
talent level, by the end of the year we can be a
better team this year than we were last year. We
can be.

"Now, whether we will be or not, who
knows? I think what our league has to do, what
our conference has to do, is win games that mean
something in November and December to get the
mojo back to the Pac-12 Conference and where it
belongs and where it should be, because I think
there's a lot of good players, a lot of good coaches
in this league, and now we just have to go prove it.

"Talk is cheap. I don't get into preseason
predictions. They picked us 11th last year, sixth
this year. Nothing is more irrelevant in my mind."

Can you tell us a little bit what you
expect out of freshman Josh Scott this year
and what you've seen of him so far in practice?

Boyle: Yeah, Josh is a special
player. He's a guy who can really score on the low
block, which we haven't had since we have been at
Colorado. Sometimes your players tell you more
about a player than you even observe as a coach,
but he's a guy when he's open down there, our
guys are looking to get him the ball because they
know something good is going to happen.

"Josh has got a knack for scoring down
there, getting fouled. He's a good foul shooter. On
our European trip, he averaged 17 points and
seven rebounds. As a true freshman, those are
pretty impressive numbers.

"But, again, he's going to be a work in
progress. He's going to be going against bigger,
stronger guys. He needs to gain weight and gain
strength.

"Josh is going to be a terrific player for us,
and we're going to need him to be a terrific player
this year for us to be as good as we need to be,
because we have a void at that position, and he
fills it pretty well."

You mentioned losing some
leadership. Who stepped up into that role?

Boyle: "Well, I think this guy
right here, André, has done a very good job. He
mentioned Sabatino Chen. We have one senior
on our team. Sabatino is a guy who comes to work
every day. He had a great off-season. And then I
think our two guards coming back, [Askia] Booker
and [Spencer] Dinwiddie.

"That doesn't mean other guys can't
emerge. You've got to be careful as a coach to, at
this point in the season really designate captains
right now. I mean, to me, the captains will evolve,
and they'll emerge as the season goes on. A lot of
people will designate captains in November and
December. I don't like to do that, because I think
our team needs to be hit in the mouth a few times
before we figure out who is going to step up and
lead when adversity hits.

"But I think André and Sabatino, and then
Spencer and Askia come to mind."
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