I have a unique perspective on Colorado’s three-game winning streak that has Tad Boyle and the Buffs tied for first place in the Big 12 along with Kansas and Texas A&M.
I saw Colorado lose at Harvard.
Not just lose. The Buffs got spanked.
However, Boyle said the setback to Harvard – which came on the heels of a loss to San Francisco – may have been the best thing that happened to his new program.
``It’s a totally different team than the one you saw,” Boyle told me following his team’s win against Oklahoma State on Saturday. ``Without that game, I don’t know if it changes.”
After the flight back home from Boston, Boyle met with the team’s top players – Alec Burks, Cory Higgins and Marcus Relphorde – at midnight.
``I told them that no one was leaving until everyone was on the same page,” Boyle said. ``They had to work together.”
Against Harvard, Burks looked nothing like the kid that NBA executives told me had a chance to be a first-rounder. He played with no intensity and was invisible for the most of the game.
But he’s been terrific over the last few weeks.
``The difference in our team is that the guys believe and are playing hard on both ends,” Boyle said. ``We’re guarding and rebounding now.”
And it’s translated into wins against Missouri, Kansas State (in Manhattan) and Oklahoma State.
After I watched the blowout to the hands of the Ivy Leaguers, I wasn’t sure if the Buffs could beat anyone in the league.
``I thought the same thing. I wasn’t sure if we were going to win a Big 12 game after that Harvard loss,” Boyle admitted. ``But it’s a testament to how things can change.”