Around the conference this week, it was by and large a week in which the teams who had spent the opening games of Pac-12 play in the friendly confines of home had to go out and try to make a living on the road. All, that is, except for one team – our team of the week – a team that has yet to taste the cold strong of a conference road trip this season.
Team of the Week
Colorado – The Buffaloes have played three Pac-12 games in their history, and all three have taken place at the Coors Event Center on their campus in Boulder. Given the difficulty of life on the road in conference play, it has been a nice present for a relatively unknown team. And, give credit to Tad Boyle and his team, they have taken advantage of the schedule-maker’s gift and run out to a 3-0 record in conference play. This week they hosted the Washington schools and took care of business in a big way, handing Washington its first conference loss of the season on Thursday night in an 18-point blowout, then following that up with an 11-point win over Washington State on Saturday in a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score. The Buffs post a better than 56% eFG in both games and got help from all up and down their roster, with five players scoring in double figures at least once on the weekend. However, the fun stops here. Colorado hasn’t played a road game since November 30, and they haven’t actually played a true road game out of the state since last year. In order to really compete for a Pac-12 title, they’ll need to prove they can take their fun on the road and get a few wins, and there is no tougher place to start this season than with a trip to the Bay Area schools.
Player and Newcomer of the Week
Carlon Brown, Sr, Colorado – While guys like Andre Roberson (6.5 PPG/10 RPG in last two games), Austin Dufault (15 PPG/4 RPG), Spencer Dinwiddie (9 PPG/4 APG), Nate Tomlinson (11 PPG/APG) and Askia Booker (8.5 PPG/4 RPG/2 APG) all made significant contributions this weekend, it was the senior transfer from Utah who stole the show. Brown had his best game in black and gold on Saturday, going for 28 points, seven rebounds, a couple assists and a couple steals, but his contribution to the team goes way beyond mere numbers. Brown came to Boulder last year with the reputation as an athletic slasher who couldn’t shoot a lick, having shot just over 30% from three in his time in Utah. However, Brown spent last season dedicating himself to cleaning up his jumper and his efforts have clearly paid off. He’s shooting 41.5% from deep on the year, and this weekend hit nine of his 15 attempts from deep including a career-high six threes on Saturday. Brown’s hard work and confidence provide a good example for the talented underclassmen on this team and gives Boyle an extension of himself on the court.