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It’s hard to find bright spots this season in the CU men’s basketball team and their overall record of 5-13. With the struggles junior Richard Roby is having this season shooting, the team has had to look elsewhere for offensive production.
Eight freshmen on the roster caused the young Buffs to go through growing pains this season. One of these freshman has clearly separated himself from the rest, Xavier Silas.
Silas is the Buffs second leading scorer, averaging 11.8 points per game and shooting 39.9 percent from the field. He is a good addition to the team this season and brings balance to the offense.
“I think it’s important for any team to have a second scorer to compliment the top scorer, but I don’t think it matters who it is. We just want to win,” Silas said.
Silas has really stepped up his play since the Buffs started facing Big 12 Conference opponents. In the last five games, Silas averaged a team-high 16 points per game, 5 rebounds and a 48.3 field goal percentage.
One area he needs to work on when it comes to offense is his free throw shooting. He has only made nine of 20 free throws in the last five games.
Silas is progressively learning the ropes of basketball in the Big 12 Conference. He said one of the biggest things he gained this season is experience.
“I mean now that we have some games under our belt, it just feels like we’re not as nervous. We’re just trying to go out there and do what we can do now,” Silas said.
Freshman Jeremy Williams said he and Silas have emerged as leaders among the freshman simply because they get a lot of minutes.
Head Coach Ricardo Patton believes Silas has not fully stepped into the leadership role yet.
“I think he is still, as all the freshmen, trying to find their way,” Patton said.
Patton does see the characteristics of a leader in Silas, but he feels he will fill the leadership role when the time comes. Yet, since the first game of the season, Patton has seen Silas improve at both ends of the court.
“He has always had a knack for trying to score,” Patton said. “I think he is at least attempting to play better defense and rebounding the ball. He is doing a nice job rebounding the basketball.”
The Buffs will have their work cut out for them on Saturday as they continue Big 12 Conference play. They face No. 12 Oklahoma State in Boulder.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Kyle McDaniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.