It’s a new era for the Mile High Sports Stock Report, as it will now shift its focus from the Denver Broncos to the Colorado Buffaloes, and specifically, CU hoops.

That means Colorado’s women’s basketball team will be the best squad covered by the stock report up until now.

Who were the top performers from last week, as the Buffs men hosted the Bay Area schools and the Buffs women went on a road trip up to Oregon? Let’s take a look.

Stock Up for Colorado Buffaloes Hoops

Tennessee guard Jasmine Powell (15) shots and scores scores while guarded by Colorado center Aaronette Vonleh (21) during the NCAA college basketball game between the Tennessee Lady Vols and Colorado Buffaloes on Friday, November 25, 2022 in Knoxville Tenn.

Tennessee guard Jasmine Powell (15) shots and scores scores while guarded by Colorado center Aaronette Vonleh (21) during the NCAA college basketball game between the Tennessee Lady Vols and Colorado Buffaloes on Friday, November 25, 2022 in Knoxville Tenn.
Kns Lady Hoops Colorado

Tristan Da Silva

Tristan Da Silva has been on a Sherman-esque scorched earth campaign for several weeks now, but the stock report was focused on the Denver Broncos at that time, so we were unable to properly give Da Silva his flowers.

Now, it’s finally time.

Over the last two-and-a-half weeks, he’s been an unstoppable scorer, ranking 20th among all NCAA men’s basketball players and fourth among all high-major men’s basketball players in points over the last five games (23.4), and he’s emerged as the leader and the heart of the Colorado Buffaloes’ basketball team.

When they were trailing a terrible Cal team early in the second half, Da Silva took over and scored 12 points in a row for the Buffaloes, flipping the game in Colorado’s favor from 24-27 to 36-34.

When they gave found themselves down 2-6 to Stanford early, with their offense hiccuping, Da Silva once again grabbed the reins, and led CU to a 19-13 lead. During that span, he scored 11 of Colorado’s 17 points.

Da Silva can take over the game at any point, and he knows when to leverage that talent in order to have the greatest impact on the final outcome.

Aaronette Vonleh

Although Tristan Da Silva had an amazing week, the most dominant individual performance might belong to Aaronette Vonleh, who lit up a good Oregon Ducks team, in the Colorado Buffaloes’ Friday road victory.

Vonleh shot 66.7% from the field, and scored 22 points, while tallying eight rebounds — almost good enough for a double-double. She dominated the paint for the Buffs, which they desperately needed, as Vonleh’s frontcourt counterpart, Quay Miller, was melting down and shooting sub-25%.

Vonleh scored seven more points than the next-highest scorer on either team, and, among both the Ducks and Buffaloes, finished second to only Miller in rebounds.

Making Vonleh’s rule of the rim even more impressive was the fact she accomplished it all while only being called for two fouls and one turnover. It was a clean, surgical brand of dominance.

Road Dominance for Colorado Buffaloes’ women’s team

This is one of the best women’s basketball teams the Colorado Buffaloes have ever boasted, and that elite presence has carried over to the team’s road trips, especially this weekend, up in Oregon.

Vonleh dominated, as we discussed, but Quay Miller got her third double-double in four games and set a career-high in rebounds, while Jaylyn Sherrod recorded seven assists in each outing and averaged 12 points per game, and Frida Formann averaged a 13-point, five-rebound, and three-assist line.

Outside of the player’s performances, the Buffaloes got the road sweep up in Oregon, which they hadn’t done in a decade. They also got a proverbial monkey off the program’s back, as they had lost each of their last five road games against the Ducks, and each of their last seven road games against the Beavers.

The win over Oregon State also came with an exclamation mark, as the 19-point margin of victory tied a 2015 win over Utah as the Buffaloes’ biggest road conference win in the Pac-12 era, per Brian Howell of the Boulder Daily Camera and Buffszone.

In conference this season, the Buffaloes have been a near-perfect 5-2 on the road, and that mark is only made more impressive by the fact the two losses have come against two of the nation’s top-seven teams (No. 2 Stanford and No. 7 Utah).

If the Buffaloes can win their next two road games, against the 7-14 Arizona State Sun Devils and the No. 17 ranked Arizona Wildcats, they’ll set a new program-best mark for Pac-12 record (7-2), and tie the program’s record for road wins in a season, at 10.

Luke O’Brien

As we’ve discussed, without J’Vonne Hadley, the Colorado Buffaloes needed their stars and roleplayers to step up.

Simpson and Da Silva represent the ‘star’ end of that equation, but Colorado native Luke O’Brien, from Littleton, best encapsulated the ‘roleplayer’ end of that equation this week.

O’Brien was asked to come off the bench, and try and replicate what Hadley brings to the Buffaloes as a scorer and rebounder, and he did precisely that.

As a scorer, he was an absolute flamethrower, producing 56/67/100 shooting splits and nine points per game. As a rebounder, he was arguably the best on the team, totaling 12 rebounds, and tying seven-foot center Lawson Lovering for the team lead over the two-game home stint. But, whereas Lovering tallied those numbers in 52 minutes, as a starting center, O’Brien did it in 45, as a bench guard.

Perhaps the Colorado Buffaloes have found their new third option?

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Feb 5, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes center Lawson Lovering (34) pulls in a rebound away from Stanford Cardinal forward Harrison Ingram (55) in the second half at the CU Events Center.

Feb 5, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes center Lawson Lovering (34) pulls in a rebound away from Stanford Cardinal forward Harrison Ingram (55) in the second half at the CU Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tourney chances for Colorado Buffaloes’ men’s team without J’Vonne Hadley

On Thursday, the Buffs’ chances of making a last-second tournament push took a big hit, as  J’Vonne Hadley — the team’s leading rebounder and No. 3 scorer — suffered a season-ending right finger injury against the California Golden Bears.

Now, so far, the results couldn’t be better, as they had their second-best conference performance of the season, against the Stanford Cardinal — their first game without Hadley.

With that said though, the loss of Hadley had a clear immediate impact on the Colorado Buffaloes against California, as the team barely managed to limp by a three-win Golden Bears squad, so expecting them to always look as dominant as they did against Stanford feels foolhardy.

The Buffs will now have to play five of the Pac-12’s six best teams (including two matchups with Utah) to close out the season’s final six games, and they can’t afford to be anything but perfect.

If Colorado suffers just one or two stumbles without their top rebounder, it could pull the plug on their season.

Lawson Lovering

With the oversized guard J’Vonne Hadley sideline for the remainder of the season, the Colorado Buffaloes have to get more production out of their seven-foot center, and the early returns this week were troubling.

Lovering was overwhelmed by a 3-20 Cal frontcourt on Thursday, and looked outmatched for much of the contest. He finished the game with just four points and four rebounds, while going 0-for-4 from the free-throw line, turning the ball over twice, and earning two fouls.

Three other Buffaloes tallied at least four rebounds, and all of them play the guard position.

Lovering, the seven-foot center, must do a better job of crashing the boards.

On Sunday, he improved considerably but still left Colorado fans wanting.

Lovering doubled his rebound output, from four to eight, and poured his energy into the defensive end, and stopped Stanford’s own seven-footer, Maxime Raynaud. Lovering held Raynaud to just 10 points while tallying two blocks and three steals.

That said, despite the defensive improvement, Lovering was a non-factor on the offensive end, outside of his rebounding ability. That offensive rebounding was very valuable and a burden he will continue to carry during Hadley’s absence, but he also needs to produce more points of his own at the offensive end.

Quay Miller

It’s very difficult to put Quay Miller here off the back of her 15-point and 19-rebound performance up in Corvallis, Oregon against the Beavers, but in such a strong week for Colorado Buffaloes’ hoops, someone has to draw the short straw, and Miller’s offensive inefficiency makes her the unlucky candidate from the women’s team.

It wasn’t all bad for Miller, and at face value, it might even be hard to understand how she wound up here. She was a dominant rebounder during the Buffs’ road trip to Oregon, averaging a double-double (10.0 points and 14.5 rebounds), and tallying 20 points and 29 total rebounds over those two games.

However, problems arise with how many shots she’s taking, and how little production is coming off those shots. Sure, she scored 20 points, but it took her 32 shots to get there, and she produced shooting splits of 25/25/100 on those shots.

The second- and third-leading shooters over the two-game stint attempted 22 and 21 shots, respectively, over the entire road trip. Miller shot 21 times in the Oregon State game alone. Also, while those shooters produced 30 points (22 shots) and 26 points (21 shots).

Quay Miller also tied guard Jaylyn Sherrod for the second-most three-point shots attempted during the road trip. Now, at 37.8% from beyond the arc for the season, Miller has decent floor-stretching ability for a center, but that doesn’t mean she should be throwing up four three-point attempts per night.

On this road trip, Miller was a bit of a black hole for the Colorado Buffaloes’ offense — sucking up scoring opportunities for Colorado’s offense that could be going to other, far-more-efficient scorers.