CU Buffs basketball’s mental toughness improving, along with Xs and Os

Jeremy Papasso, Daily Camera

While the Colorado men’s basketball team suffered a late collapse against Oregon State on Jan. 31 at home, the Buffs have been much better in tight situations of late — a key reason for a three-game win streak entering Wednesday.

Mental toughness is a characteristic hard to define and even more difficult to quantify. Yet for much of the season, Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle has lamented a stark lack of that sort of toughness among his Buffaloes.

That, however, might be changing.

It wasn’t just picking up only the second road sweep of the program’s Pac-12 history that might give fans hope a still-young CU rotation may be turning a corner. It was the manner in which the Buffs were able to close out those wins by finishing strong in hostile territory.

“There may be some games down the stretch where we play well defensively, we play well rebounding, and we play well on offense and we lose. There may be those games,” Boyle said. “But at least you can live with those games. Because now you got beat. Somebody beat you. But when you turn the ball over, or you take bad shots on offense, you don’t guard and you don’t rebound, now you feel like you’re beating yourself. I don’t feel we’ve been beaten this year. We’ve beaten ourselves nine times. That’s how I feel.”

There was ample evidence of the Buffs not being strong enough mentally through much of January, and perhaps most prominently with the 1-2 showing CU put together at the Diamond Head Classic in late December as the Buffs went from expecting to compete for a championship to barely salvaging a win in the tournament’s last-place game. The Buffs also squandered a 12-point lead late in the first half at Stanford and were outplayed in the second half of a home loss against Oregon State on Jan. 31.

Read more at buffzone.com.

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