January 5, 2023
The Jekyll and Hyde 1994 concept album, featuring Anthony
Warlow, Carolee Carmello and Linda Eder.
BOULDER -- All right, does anyone have the Colorado Buffaloes -- of the men's hoops
variety -- figured out?
I sure don't.
This is a maddening
and befuddling team that routed Oregon 68-41 at the Coors Events Center Thursday night, getting 30 points from junior forward
Triston da Silva and 16 from sophomore guard Julian Hammond III as they improved to 2-3 in the Pac-12 and 10-6 overall. But
that doesn't do the Buffaloes' weird mercurial personality justice. They've lost to Grambling, beaten Tennessee (ranked 11th
at the time), hammered Colorado State, lost to mediocre Washington and came in to the Oregon game off a loss to dreadful California.
CU led the Ducks by 18 at halftime on the way to the 27-point win. About the only negative was that with school still out,
most CU students weren't around to see it.
the dominating win over the Ducks, whom he once served as an assistant coach, Colorado coach Tad Boyle appropriately brought
up "The Strange Case
of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde," the 1886 novella by Robert Louis Stevenson.
"I don't want to show my ignorance, I probably shouldn't open my mouth up," Boyle said. "But Jekyll
and Hyde, this team. I've never seen the movie, I've never read the book. One's good, one's bad, it's total polar opposites
and that's what this team is right now. We're Jekyll and Hyde.
"I don't know if we were Jekyll on Saturday against Cal and Hyde
tonight, or Hyde and Jekyll. But this is how we have to play defensively. Not that we're going to hold everybody to what we
held Oregon to. It wasn't their best night, there's no doubt about that. But I think we had something to do with it. From
the get-go, we were locked in defensively. The inconsistencies with this team, this 2022-23 CU team, have been on the defensive
end. When we've shown it and have done it, we can beat anybody."
CU also was without its leading scorer, sophomore
guard KJ Simpson, held out because he wasn't able to practice this week with an injured ankle and illness. "Going into
this game, I was going, 'Holy Cow, I hope we can score enough points to beat these guys,'" Boyle said, "but our
defense was so good, I didn't have to worry about it."
A little later, after Boyle answered my question about da Silva,
the junior from Munich, ("I was really proud of Tristan at both ends of the floor"), I mentioned that Dr. Henry
Jekyll was the "good" half of the Stevenson-created persona, Mr. Edward Hyde the "bad."
"We were Jekyll
tonight then," Boyle said. "Hyde's bad. That's why I need people like you to keep it straight."
For the record,
as Boyle headed out of the interview room, I confessed to him that I only knew that because I had seen "Jekyll and Hyde,"
the Frank Wildhorn Broadway musical, in New York starring Robert Cuccioli, Linda Eder and Christiane Noll. (I also saw it
in Dallas and Denver with Chuck Wagner, Sharon Brown and Kelli O'Hara among the leads, and in repeat visits to New York with
later casts, including Jack Wagner, all of which is why I've been accused of being among the cult show's "Jekkies.")
But I haven't read the Stevenson novella or seen any of the movie versions, either.
Triston da Silva against the Ducks
I asked both da Silva
and Hammond about this team's inconsistency.
feel like you see it overall, maybe not from the record itself, but from the wins and losses that we've had," da Silva
said. "Really good games and really, really tough losses for us. So I mean, that's been an issue for us the whole season so far. That's where we have to get back into -- being
consistent. Getting in a rhythm and making sure that we do the stuff that we can control. Play with maximum energy and effort
and give it 100% [energy and effort] 100% of the time. That's what it comes down to for us."
Hammond, the former
Cherry Creek High quarterback, replaced Simpson in the starting lineup.
seen that we can play with whoever," Hammond said. "But we just have nights that are off and we know that's the
focus for us now, though, because when we're playing good and we're playing hard and with energy, we're capable of beating
anybody. We've had too many nights where we come in flat with no energy and let our play often dictate our game. So we're just trying to get past that and work on having [that type of] energy every night."
The Buffs face struggling Oregon State at home Saturday night. We'll see who shows
up -- Jekyll or Hyde.
Hammmond III and Tristan da Silva