Tad Boyle conference call

Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle discussed winning on the road, sophomore Alec Burks and why Colorado can be competitive long term in the Pac-12 Conference as well as other topics today on the coaches' teleconference.

Could you talk about your offensive coaching philosophy in general and whether you inherited a group that seems to fit into that very well.?

Tad Boyle: "Yeah, recruiting is such a big part of college basketball as everybody knows, and we want to play a style that is fun to play. With that, we play at 5,200 feet. I've talked about it many times. We play at altitude. With those two things in mind, we want to play a high possession game. We like to get up and down and share the basketball. I do think we've got a couple very, very good players as everybody knows in Alec Burks and Cory Higgins, but I think the teams that are hardest to prepare for are the teams that are very well balanced. So I think philosophically, we want to be a balanced team number one. And then number two, we want to play a style that players are going to want to play. Get up and down the floor and share the basketball. Again, philosophically in terms of our program, we want to play hard, we want to play smart and we want to play together. And offensively that is true and it's certainly true defensively. We are running basically a motion offense, you know four around one and even five out sometimes this year with our personnel. One thing I will say is coach Bzdelik recruited some good players into this program. We've got a couple of guys who can really score it, and there are some role players who are really stepping up for us right now as well. So when you've got balance, you're hard to prepare for."

Alec said it was a statement game for the program Saturday. Would go that far?

TB: "I'm glad our players feel like that. I think every game in the Big 12 is a statement game. I mean, you've got to bring it every night as the cliche goes. I'm glad our players feel like that. Colorado has been competitive in a lot of Big 12 games throughout the last few years and now it's time for us to hopefully win some of those. From that standpoint yeah. The thing that makes Saturday's win such a great win for us is the fact that we beat a really good basketball team. I've got a lot of respect for Missouri and what they've done over the years. Mike Anderson is a heck of a coach. They've got good players. And you don't get in to the top-10 by accident. They earned their way there, and we were able to step up and meet a big challenge on Saturday. That's not the only challenge we're going to face this year."

A lot of guys have tried at Colorado and not succeeded. Are there things in place that would allow Colorado to step up and be a winning program over the long haul?

TB: "Absolutely. No. 1, I think you've got a coach and a coaching staff who is committed to it. I mean, this is where I want to be. This is not a stepping stone job for me or my staff. What we want to do is build and develop a consistent team that can compete in the top half of whatever conference we're in. When I got here, I thought it was going to be the Big 12 and now, looking forward, it's going to be the Pac-12. But we've got a brand new practice facility that is being built right now. ...There is a commitment that is being made here to basketball that hasn't been made in the past from our administration. I think when you have that and you have a coaching staff that is committed and you can recruit -- obviously it goes back to recruiting like I said before, and recruit players who want to come and build something -- you've got a chance to make something happen that is pretty special. That's what we want to get done here."

Can you just describe Alec Burks a little bit?

TB: "Alec is a special player. He is a guy when the ball is in his hands, as a coach you feel like something good is usually going to happen. He took his game to another level on Saturday. I mean, he was feeling it, and he's a guy who can make plays for himself. He's 6-6 and he's got great basketball instincts. But what makes Alec special is he can make plays for others as well. I think as you see his game develop and grow, that's the part that makes him scary good. I think you saw a piece of it on Saturday and hopefully there is more of that to come. The thing with a player like Alec that we've been trying to talk to him about is you've got to pick your spots and understand when do you make plays for yourself and when is it maybe time to make plays for one of your teammates and set somebody else up. He's been very unselfish and very coachable in that regard.

Last week your team ended a long road nonconference losing streak and long conference opening losing streak and a long losing streak against top-10 ranked teams. Obviously you inherited those streaks, but how much pride have you taken in being able to end those long streaks?

TB: "I haven't take any pride in it. I'm not into streaks. I just think those are things that have happened in the past and I'm not concerned about that. I don't want our players to be concerned about it. I didn't know until after the game on Saturday that there was a 13-year streak of losing conference openers. Glad I didn't know about it, not that it would have made any difference one way or the other. I'm not into streaks. I'm into preparing yourself for the next task at hand. I do think there are some mental hurdles that sometimes you have to get over and when people are talking about it, whether it's in the press or on the Internet or whatever, I try to tell our players all you've got to worry about is coming to practice and trying to get better and worrying about our next task at end. But I do think there are some mental hurdles. Winning on the road is one of those that takes some time sometimes to get over. It's got to start somewhere and it started for us at Bakersfield and at some point in conference play, we're going to have to break through and win some games on the road as well."


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