The Colorado Buffaloes men’s and women’s basketball teams had polar-opposite experiences this past week.

While the women thumped Washington at home and had one of their most impressive offensive outings of the season to sneak past Washington State, the men struggled to look competitive against the Utah Utes, and might have removed themselves from the NIT Tournament picture.

Who shined for the women, and who stunk for the men? Let’s take a look.

Stock Up for the Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado Buffaloes guard Jaylyn Sherrod (00) scores a three point basket against Stanford Cardinal guard Haley Jones (30) at the buzzer during the second quarter at Maples Pavilion.

Jan 22, 2023; Stanford, California, USA; Colorado Buffaloes guard Jaylyn Sherrod (00) scores a three point basket against Stanford Cardinal guard Haley Jones (30) at the buzzer during the second quarter at Maples Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylyn Sherrod

The Colorado Buffaloes’ women are rolling through the Pac-12, and towards a high seed in the NCAA Tournament, at full steam, thanks in large part to what they’ve gotten from star guard Jaylyn Sherrod.

Against Washington State, Sherrod was a woman possessed, and it felt like she singlehandedly took over the game for the Buffaloes. Not only that, but her heroic performance came against a quality opponent, and helped lift CU to a narrow victory.

She finished the day with 27 points (the most any member of Colorado’s women’s team in a game all season), on insane shooting splits of 83/50/86. She also tallied three boards, three steals, and two assists.

Washington State just simply couldn’t stop her. Being a fan of the Cougars on Friday must’ve felt not all that different from being a fan of Steph Curry’s opponent, once the Warriors’ sharpshooter catches fire. Not much you can do but sit back and watch your team lose.

If Sherrod wasn’t dishing out more heat than Sean Evans, the Colorado Buffaloes lose that game. She took it upon herself to ensure victory, and she was successful.

The subsequent bout with the Huskies didn’t require the same heroics from Sherrod, but she still turned in a solid performance, while focusing on her teammates, considering her recent scoring barrage. Sherrod assisted on six different baskets, while also crashing the boards for four rebounds, and scoring eight points on 50 percent shooting from the field.

With their twin towers Quay Miller and Aaronette Vonleh, some very dynamic guards and wings, such as Sherrod, and a top-notch defense, the Colorado Buffaloes should make noise come March.

Frida Foreman

Frida Foreman is one of those aforementioned talented guards that could help guide the CU women deep into the postseason, and over the past two weeks, she’s really hit her stride.

She has been a beacon of consistency for the Colorado Buffaloes in their last four games, scoring either 13 or 14 points in each outing, while averaging 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per night, all on 44/52/100 shooting splits. Compare that to the two-week stretch that proceeded it, where she was averaging 6.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists, on 18/21/100 splits, and it’s clear that she’s settled into the offense more, and is taking better advantage of her looks.

This latest emergence makes Buffs’ women’s team just that much more potent on offense, just that much deeper, and just that much more deadly.

Julian Hammond

With Tristan Da Silva locked up by the Utah Utes’ defense, other scorers had to step up for the Colorado Buffaloes.

K.J. Simpson had a terrific game, but he couldn’t carry the offensive load all on his lonesome, and Julian Hammond did his best to lend a hand.

Off the bench, Hammond was one of the best scorers for CU, on Saturday night. His 11 points were the second-most for the Colorado Buffaloes and was only three points off the team lead. He was also one of the team’s best rebounders, tallying four boards.

And that fearlessness around the rim also helped create a lot of points for Hammond, as only five of his 11 points came from the field. Most of his scoring came at the line, where he was a perfect six-for-six.

That free throw onslaught came late in the first half and had Colorado nearly tied it up heading into intermission.

That help was one of the only reasons the Buffs managed to hang in their matchup with the Utes as long as they did, and without those contributions, it likely would’ve been a blowout.

Stock Down for the Colorado Buffaloes

Feb 2, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes forward Tristan da Silva (23) and center Lawson Lovering (34) and California Golden Bears forward Sam Alajiki (24) reach for a loose ball in the second half at the CU Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tristan Da Silva

Tristan Da Silva is, without a doubt, the lifeblood of the Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team, and that was especially apparent against the Utah Utes. Da Silva came up short on offense, and the rest of the Buffs matched that effort, for the most part.

K.J. Simpson had a great game for Colorado, and yet still, the game was rarely close, and the Buffaloes never led. Not even for a second.

That proves how reliant this entire squad is on Da Silva’s offensive production.

Last week, when he was unleashing cascading sheets of napalm onto the Buffs’ Bay Area foes, that was excellent. Da Silva tallied 45 points over the two nights, all while shooting over 59 percent from the field. He also managed to take over pockets of the games, when Colorado’s offense was otherwise struggling, and help keep them afloat until the unit came back online.

When Colorado’s offense got cold against Utah, Da Silva was unable to bail them out, as he was ice cold himself.

He finished the game with a paltry six points on 12 shots, which just isn’t good enough for the Buffaloes’ scoring ace.

Jalen Gabbidon

Last week, when Jalen Gabbidon first entered the starting lineup, following J’Vonne Hadley’s injury, he turned in a strong performance against the Stanford Cardinal and helped guide the Buffs to victory.

He didn’t stack stats, but he did finish the day with five points on efficient shooting splits (50% from the field and 1-for-1 at the line), while also performing as one of the Colorado Buffaloes’ best defenders.

Even in relief of Hadley, in the game vs. California, he was amazing, producing nine points, four rebounds and an assist, while remaining one of Colorado’s best defensive players.

This week, against Utah, Gabbidon was an offensive void, as he failed to convert on any of his four shots from the field, or reach the line a single time. He also wasn’t nearly as impactful on the defensive end. Seemingly every Utes guard that entered the game ate the Buffaloes alive, with Marco Anthony and Lazar Stefanovic leading the way, and combining for 26 points.

With Hadley out, the Buffs have needed some of their other players to step up on offense and carry some of the load. Tristan Da Silva and K.J. Simpson can only do so much. With Da Silva cold, this would’ve been a perfect spot for Jalen Gabbidon to shine, but instead, he came up short.

Men’s tournament hopes

As the Colorado Buffaloes got a home stint against the California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal a week ago, and performed very well, it felt like maybe CU was finally turning a corner and would be able to close the season on a hot stretch that could at least make tournament conversations interesting come March.

The thunderous loss to the Utah Utes quickly put that notion out to pasture.

Now, bracketology projections are giving the Buffs’ men just a 1-in-40 chance to make the tournament.

There is still a decent chance the men could make the NIT Tournament, but they’ll have to close the season strong to even appear there, as they’re presently projected as an eight-seed for the NIT Tournament, and there are only eight seeds per region in that tournament. Even if they do make it, their performance against the Utes raises concerns about how productive they could be.