Q&A: Colorado at Pac-12 Media Day

A transcript of the comments made by Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle and senior big man Wesley Gordon during the press conference portion of Pac-12 Media Day in San Francisco...

Opening statement...

Tad Boyle: "Well, another year, coming off a fantastic year for our conference and certainly our basketball program, and we're eagerly anticipating another great season of Pac-12 basketball. When I think about Colorado's team this year, obviously Wesley is one of four fifth-year seniors. We've got a lot of experience. George King is fourth-year junior. Dom Collier and Tory Miller are juniors themselves. So lot of experience coming back, and we're really excited about the upcoming year."

On Colorado alumni representing the Buffs in The Basketball Tournament this past summer...

Boyle: "It was great. A great experience for not only those young men, but for our players. That team came back to Boulder to have kind of a mini camp to get ready for this tournament. So had a chance to work out in our practice facility and play some pick-up with these guys that were in town taking summer classes. So it was a great way to kind of tie the old Buffs with the current Buffs. These guys got a chance to visit with them, again, play against them for a couple days. Then for them to go on the run, I remember I had that team over to my house for a barbecue, and I said if you guys get to the final, I'll be there, and lo and behold, they got to The Finals and I got on a plane to go to New York. But they brought a lot of pride to our program, our current players, and they came up a little bit short. Which I always said, I've been in a lot of really, really tough locker rooms after losses, and that might have been the hardest one. Those kids were devastated, but really brought a lot of pride to our program."

On the program's recent success helping with recruiting...

Boyle: "Yeah, I'd like to think so. With recruiting, you just want to eat a little bit higher on the food chain than maybe you currently are. The longer you're at a place, I think the stability of our program, the stability of our coaching staff -- and we lost Coach Billups this year to go to the University of Denver, but Coach Prioleau and Coach Rohn, who have been recruiting for us now for going into year seven, added a really quality coach in Bill Grier. Because so much recruiting, the assistants do a lot of the legwork. And we're very blessed with stability in that area. And I think our current players, they are the difference makers when we bring these kids to campus. So I do think our success, our stability, and our current players can speak to what can happen at Colorado. Obviously we're looking to take it to the next step, in the next level in recruiting and certainly on the court."

On Xavier Johnson being back...

Wesley Gordon: "It means a lot that I'm just not by myself in all of this. He's been with me since day one, so it's really nice to have him right next to me as I'm going through all of this, the leadership role and all those things."

On being picked to finish fifth in the preseason Pac-12 media poll...

Tad Boyle: "I didn't know we were picked fifth. And don't care where we're picked. I think that's the most inconsequential piece of information you can get on days like this. Because really it's all about where we go from here. Now, the league's really good this year, just like it was last year. So I think there are so many teams that you can point to really any team in the not better than they were last year. Obviously we lost some good players. We lost a heck of a player in Josh Scott, and we're adding players, and I think the same could be said for anybody in the league this year. But lot of balance. If we can get seven teams in again this year, I think everybody would be pretty excited about that. I think the biggest key for us as a league is we all have to take care of business and have great Novembers and Decembers, given our schedules. We all have different schedules, go to different schools, play in different tournaments. We have to play well and win games in November and December. It will help everybody come January and February, and certainly March."

On the value Colorado and Utah have added to the Pac-12 since joining the conference...

Boyle: "Well, I think two really good institutions that fit in well with the other ten, used to be the Pac-10, now the Pac-12. So I think we've brought something to the table hopefully as a basketball program. I know when we came in the league, our program was a little further along than Utah's was. Larry had just taken over and was faced with a pretty major rebuilding job. Obviously he's done a terrific job doing that. We've been able to sustain our program at a pretty high level and compete with most of the teams in the Pac-12. So I think it's been a good addition for the league. I think we feel very good about it, and fortunate, and I think the rest of the league feels the same way. So good fit for both institutions."

On George King...

Boyle: "George really works on his game in the off-season. He spends a lot of time in the gym. That was evident by his breakout year last year. He used his red-shirt year certainly to the fullest. He's always getting shots in after practice. He's a very, very good knock-down shooter, and he proved that by leading the league in three-point shooting last year. But he's also a big, strong, physical guy who can post up, can get to the rim, finish with contact. The big challenge with George is good players make themselves better, and he's made himself better. He's a good player. Great players make those around them better, and that's the transition he has to make is how does he make Wesley Gordon better. How does he make Dom Collier better, Xavier Johnson better. He's got the ability to do that now this year. He's going to work on those things."

On if Colorado has a rival in the Pac-12...

Gordon: "I mean, myself personally, I don't feel like we have rivals with anybody. I think we try to go out and beat every team we play. So I don't think there is any. I mean, maybe Utah, I guess."

Boyle: "Obviously, everybody tries to pit us against Utah. We're travel partners. But I think rivalries have to take on a life of their own. You can't just pick somebody. I remember when Bill McCartney was a football coach at Colorado. He came in and picked Nebraska. And Nebraska never recognized that rivalry until Colorado started beating them. And so I think for us, we've got to just get to the upper echelon in the league, and those rivalries will happen, I think, over the course of time. Usually they're sparked by an incident. I'm not going to awake any sleeping dogs in this conference. We're just going to try to sneak up on people. But that stuff will come as time goes on."


BuffStampede Top Stories