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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Colorado reporter discusses Richt, hoops

Back in October, Denver Post reporter Tom Kensler was kind enough to answer our questions about Georgia’s football game at Colorado. Who knew back then we’d be needing Kensler’s services again?

Colorado is interesting in speaking with Mark Richt, among others, for its vacant head coaching position, according to a story in the Post last week. (Asked about the report, Richt laughed and said, “Georgia’s my home.”)

Meanwhile, Colorado’s men’s basketball team has flown east to play Tuesday night at … drum roll, Anton … Georgia!

No word on whether Colorado athletics director Mike Bohn is on the trip with the basketball team, to perhaps kill two birds with one stone.

Kensler now has the pleasure of covering a coaching search while a season is still going on – which from my personal experience, I can assure you is death. So I really appreciate Kensler taking time to answer a few questions both about Richt and the Buffaloes basketball team.

SE: How serious does Colorado's interest in Mark Richt appear to be?

Richt will be contacted if he hasn't been already, either directly or through an intermediary. I'd think if Richt wanted out of Georgia he could get another job in, say, 15 minutes. His record speaks for itself.

SE: Colorado has been facing some financial issues, and Richt has both a hefty salary (around $3 million) and buyout (a little over $5 million.) Would that rule him out, or is Colorado ready to open its wallet if things progress that far?

Richt to Colorado is a longshot. He is a Nebraska native and lived for five or six years in the Denver area during grade school years. But as he has said, "Georgia is my home." I don't see him leaving UGA unless he is forced out. And the school would be crazy to do that. Perhaps he is getting tired of the pressure to compete in the SEC, but there is pressure everywhere. There will be pressure for the new Colorado coach to build the program quickly and show it belongs in the Pac-12.

Yes, Colorado is in a money crunch. Athletic director Mike Bohn said last week it would be difficult to find the funds to pay a $2 million salary. That's another reason I think it's a longshot. But from Colorado's perspective, it's worth a shot.

SE: Turning to basketball: The Buffaloes started four guards in their opener. Are they that heavily a perimeter-based team? What's new coach Tad Boyle's preferred style of play?

That's not by design. The Buffs lost their top post player, 6-10 sophomore Shane Harris-Tunks, for the season with a torn ACL early in preseason camp. Although Boyle was a guard at Kansas during his playing days, he loves post play. But like most coaches, he will try to use his best five players.

The Buffs have done a 180-degree switch from last year's team under Jeff Bzdelik, who is now at Wake Forest. Although the Buffs were not a slow-down team, per se, Bzdelik did run a lot of patterns. Boyle has pushed the tempo. This team will run at every opportunity.

SE: Cory Higgins was a preseason Big 12 first team pick. What makes him so good - and do the Buffs have much to support him?

Higgins, a senior and son of former NBA player Rod Higgins, is the most consistent player on the team, and he may get a shot at the NBA. But the most spectacular player and the one with the biggest upside is 6-6 guard Alec Burks, last season's Big 12 freshman of the year. CU fans had better enjoy Burks this season because he already is being mentioned as a probable first-round draft choice next summer. He is athletic and already has NBA-type size and moves.

Those two combined for 36 points per game. Beyond them, senior wing forward Marcus Relphorde (11.0) is the only double-figure scorer off last season's team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anton, GA?