Colorado Week: What To ExpectPosted by AMurawa on July 26th, 2012
We’ve gone through the Colorado roster, we’ve told you about the returnees and the newcomers, we’ve gone through the schedule, but let’s put it all together today: What does the 2012-13 season hold for the Buffaloes? Just how good will returnees like Andre Roberson, Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker be, and which of the newcomers will emerge as major contributors? And most importantly, can these Buffs match and improve upon last year’s NCAA Tournament appearance? Let’s break out that old crystal ball again and see what it says.
CU’s Leading Scorer – Askia Booker. I’m going to go out on a limb here and go with Booker. Roberson would seem to be the obvious choice, but I think Booker’s minutes will nearly equal Roberson’s next season, and lord knows that Booker likes to shoot the ball on a regular basis. With Carlon Brown no longer around to eat into Booker’s helping of offensive looks, we’re going to project that the sophomore guard finds double-digit field goal attempts on a nightly basis, gets to the line six or seven times a night and winds up averaging 15 points or so, a smidge above Roberson.
CU’s MVP – Andre Roberson. Okay, watch Roberson blow up, average 20/12 this season and make the above prediction look laughable. There is little question that Roberson is the best player on the Colorado team, and if head coach Tad Boyle had his way, I’m guessing Roberson would be the one winding up with the bulk of the shot attempts. But, regardless of whether that plays out or not, Roberson’s highly efficient offensive game, his dominance on the glass, and his defensive prowess mean that whether or not he leads the team in scoring, he’ll still have the biggest impact on the team’s overall success.
CU’s Most Improved Returnee – Roberson. Normally we like to spread the love around in these parts. And while I certainly could make a case for Booker, Spencer Dinwiddie or even Shane Harris-Tunks, I’m going to go back to the well with Roberson, if only because he may have the most upside remaining. Yes, he was a great rebounder and defensive player last season and comes into this year on the short list for the best players in the conference. But he’s still got so much more that he can do. His confidence in his perimeter jumper increased a bit in his sophomore season, but he’s got the ability to become a weapon out there. And, if that happens, he’s got a good enough handle and first step that he’ll leave defenders in a pickle, not knowing whether to play up on him to take away the jumper or back off him to prevent the drive. Roberson is already very, very good. But he hasn’t reached his potential yet.
CUs Most Impactful Newcomer – Josh Scott. The combination of Scott’s size, polished offensive game and, perhaps most importantly, the availability of minutes along the frontline could all conspire to see Scott play a major role for the Buffs. Off their talented group of frontcourt players, Scott may be the most ready to play immediately, although he may need to play slightly out of position at the five. Xavier Johnson could also play a big role as a combo forward.
CU’s Conference Record/ Finish – 12-6, 3rd Place. Fact is, you can probably pencil in the Buffaloes for about seven conference wins at home, and it wouldn’t really surprise a whole lot of people if that number was eight or even nine – their home court advantage is that good right now. And really, while there are always some questions when you’ve got six freshmen and a couple of sophomore guards, this team seems to have about as many answers already dialed in as anyone in the conference. UCLA and Arizona probably have more talent than CU, but beyond that, only Stanford is in the discussion with this team. Unfortunately, their non-conference schedule could leave them with few chances to score quality victories prior to Pac-12 play, so we’ll cap their seed capability at a #7, putting them somewhere between the seven and ten lines. Which means while the Buffaloes could equal last year’s success with a single NCAA win, advancing much further than that would be something of a surprise.