2012 NCAA Basketball: Hartford Hawks at Colorado Buffaloes

Saturday at noon the Colorado Buffaloes hosted the University of Hartford Hawks in their last non-conference game before the Pac-12 season starts and their last game of 2012.  I headed up to Boulder about 10 am, and it was cold.  About 19 degrees when I left home and about 23 when I got to Boulder.  I walked over to the Coors Event Center and headed down to the media room.

December 29, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes junior forward ANDRÉ ROBERSON (21) throws gown a dunk in the first half of the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

I got there in plenty of time to grab a work space, set my computer up and set up a wireless hotspot.  The USA Today Photos shooter and I have a deal, whoever shows up first will grab the network hardline and set up a hot spot for the other to use.  I got everything set up, and thought about doing a floor remote.  I put my 24-70 2.8 on my 1D Mark II and headed out to the court while the girls teams were finishing their shoot around before the guys hit the floor.  Unfortunately, the locations I could set up in were not ideal for the 24-70.  I really need a fisheye or super wide angle fast prime.

December 29, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes sophomore guard SPENCER DINWIDDIE (25) brings the ball around a screen set by teammate freshman forward JOSH SCOTT (40) in the first half of the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

So I headed back to the media room and checked the web, checked my email, and asked the media contact about a portrait project I am planning (watch for more details) and grabbed my cameras and headed out to the court.

December 29, 2012: Finding his grove finally, Colorado Buffaloes sophomore guard ASKIA BOOKER (0) finger rolls a shot up in first half action of the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

I am really not liking the lighting at the Coors Event Center.  The metal halide lights just suck.  There are hot spots all over the court, and dark areas under the hoops.  ISO 2500 just is horrible and the color shifts from the lights cycling is the bane of any indoor action photographer.  I really wish I could strobe every game here, but it takes too long to set up and take down in a NCAA facility.  It would be better to set them up at the beginning of the season and leave them up all season long, but then I would not be able to use them for high school or anything else.

December 29, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes senior guard SABATINO CHEN (23) is fouled by University of Hartford Hawks freshman guard EVAN COOPER (22) as he slices through the key for a shot in the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

Talking to one of the Colorado team photographers who is planning on setting up a remote above the court for the next home game made me consider doing a backboard remote for an upcoming game.  Again, my 24-70 might not be wide enough, but, then again, it might work perfect.  I would really like to try it at least once here for a Buffs game.

December 29, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes freshman forward XAVIER JOHNSON (2) is fouled by University of Hartford Hawks sophomore forward MARK NWAKAMMA (1) in the first half of the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

There were more people here for this game than the last game, which surprised me with New Years Eve just a few games away.  Still not a packed house, but it was still a good crowd.  I noticed that all the cheer squads were not there.  The group that normally stand right in front of me during team introductions were not there.

December 29, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes sophomore guard ASKIA BOOKER (0) rises above the rest for a lay up in the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

It was really good to see Askia Booker break out of his funk.  The last game against Northern Arizona he was hot, but I know, one game does not mean you are back to yourself.  But Ski came out on fire in this game.  I am still waiting for him to catch a breakaway and throw down a dunk that will ignite the Buffalo fans.

December 29, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes freshman forward JOSH SCOTT (40) puts a shot up past University of Hartford Hawks sophomore forward MARK NWAKAMMA (1) in second half action of the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

I was kind of excited for this game.  The Buffaloes are no longer ranked, the Hawks are not a great team, but there was one player on the Hartford team I was really excited to see.  One of the Hawks is the son of former Seattle Supersonic great Jack Sikma.  I am such a huge Sonics fan (use to play pick up games at Greenlake Community Center when Shawn Kemp and Dana Barrows would show up, and use to shoot free throws against Nate McMillan every once in a while at a gym in Bellevue, Washington).

December 29, 2012: University of Hartford Hawks sophomore forward NATE SIKMA (43), the son of the NBA's Seattle Supersonic great Jack Sikma, in action in the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

Unfortunately, for both my excitement, and for the Hawks, Nate Sikma was not an impact for his team like his dad was for the Sonics.  He had at least one air ball, and in a total of 24 minutes played, ended up with 2 rebounds, 6 points and 5 assists.  He did not live up to the former Sonics kids that I have shot (I shot Nate McMillan’s son in the Great Alaska Shootout).  I am hoping to shoot Shawn Kemp’s son Shawn Jr. next season when my Dawgs invade the Coors Event Center.

I was not happy with my cheer shots today either.  They were just missing that pop I normally get.

December 29, 2012: A Colorado cheerleader during a time out of the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

December 29, 2012: A Colorado Buffs cheerleader leads the crowd in a cheer during a time out in the action of the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

A couple final thoughts.  Askia should be in the running for Pac-12 player of the year if he continues his hot shooting when the Pac-12 starts up in a week.  And Spencer Dinwiddie, a current player on the Bob Cousy Award watch list should also be on the short list for Pac-12 POY.  And even if they do not win POY, they are fun to watch.  And I never thought I would say this, but, I am beginning to really like the Buffs hoops team.  I am a die hard DAWGS fan, WOOF! But, there is something about the Buffs that I am really liking.  I am not ready to ditch my W hat, or my DAWGS football and baseball jerseys, but I am not sure you won’t see a Buffs hat in my collection pretty soon.

December 29, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes junior forward ANDRÉ ROBERSON (21) breaks to the hoop in the NCAA Basketball game between the University of Hartford Hawks and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

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