Coach Patton shows no love for his team at post-game conference
You’ll have to forgive the CU men’s basketball team if it wasn’t in a loving kind of mood on Valentine’s night.
The team and its coach were understandably sour after the ninth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks laid a 75-46 whooping on the Buffs at the Coors Events Center.
CU’s only lead of the game was 3-2, a couple of minutes into the first half. After that, it was all Kansas, all the time. The Jayhawks (22-4, 9-2) out-rebounded, out-shot and out-hustled CU (6-15, 2-9) on their way to an easy victory.
Things never got going the way the Buffs would’ve liked. Signs of an impending blowout were noticeable before the game even started.
For the first time since senior night of last year, junior wing player Richard Roby did not start for Colorado.
After the game, CU head coach Ricardo Patton let out his frustration in a candid press conference where he openly questioned some of his players’ attitudes and desire.
“We’ve been rewarding poor performance and poor attitude,” Patton said. “I just decided I’m not going to reward poor attitude. I’m going to teach the right lessons.”
One of the players Patton seemed to be referring to was Roby. The Buffs’ leading scorer managed to put up only seven points during his 23 minutes of playing time and sat out a long stretch at the end of the second half. He was joined on the bench by normal starter Xavier Silas.
Patton continued on by indicating his players have perhaps given up on this season and their coach.
“And maybe the next guy that coaches this team, maybe they’ll be ready to play for the next guy,” Patton said. “This season has been one where attitude has been displayed, and we looked the other way. I’m done with that.”
When asked if he was surprised at his starting snub, a hunched Roby could barely look up.
“(I) found out just before the game,” Roby said. “I never knew. I had a feeling, but (coach Patton) didn’t tell me anything.”
Responding to his coach’s comments about the team’s attitude and whether they had “packed it in,” Roby said it’s just frustration.
“I think guys are just frustrated more than anything else. It’s been a long season, and games like this definitely mess with you mentally,” Roby said.
Replacing Roby and Silas in the starting lineup were freshman guard Dwight Thorne and senior Dominique Coleman.
By the time Roby entered the game, the Buffs were already facing a deficit. That deficit grew to 15 points at times during a first half in which the Buffs turned the ball over 13 times and shot just 30 percent from the floor.
Once again, in what has been a terrible season for CU, Patton revealed his mystification at why his team doesn’t play with more focus and effort.
“I was a little disappointed that we didn’t come out with more fire and intensity,” Patton said. “We practice hard. Three guys have broken their noses in our practices, but we don’t play that way.”
In front of the team’s biggest crowd of the season, which was mostly Jayhawk fans, CU forced shots and gave up numerous easy looks.
While the Buffs took better care of the ball in the second half with only five turnovers, the team shot only 25 percent in the final 20 minutes.
The Jayhawks took control for good less than five minutes into the second half when they extended their lead to twenty points.
Before ending his portion of the press conference, Patton once again talked about quitting.
“One of the things we talk to our guys about is never quitting, never giving up. There’s no reason to do that,” Patton said. “You play for the love the game, regardless of who the coach is or how long he’s going to be with you. And in the long run, when you start quitting on yourself and on your teammates, you end up suffering.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Stirling Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org