Colorado guard Askia Booker looks to drive into the lane against Arizona defender Kyryl Natyazhko on Saturday afternoon. Booker scored 9 points on the night, making 4 of 6 free throws. (Kai Casey/CU Independent)
Colorado guard Askia Booker looks to drive into the lane against Arizona defender Kyryl Natyazhko on Saturday afternoon. Booker scored 9 points on the night, making 4 of 6 free throws. (Kai Casey/CU Independent)

Act II- Buffs men’s basketball prepared for second Pac-12 season

Amid the post-election commotion and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it’s understandable if the Buffs basketball season slipped your mind.

Or, if you’re like me and desperately need to put the football season behind you, the good news is come Friday, your prayers will be answered.

The CU Men’s basketball team kicks off the 2012-2013 season Friday night against the visiting Wofford College Terriers, a game in which we may witness breakout talent from the truckload of young players on the roster.

Colorado guard Askia Booker looks to drive into the lane against Arizona defender Kyryl Natyazhko on Saturday afternoon. Booker looks to be a team leader this season. (Kai Casey/CU Independent)

Head Coach Tad Boyle has been busy in the off-season. Joining the team are six freshmen that Boyle hopes add to an already young and inexperienced roster. Wesley Gordon, Chris Jenkins, Eli Stalzer, Xavier Johnson, Josh Scott and Xavier Talton are all looking to make an immediate impact for the team.

Talton, Gordon and Scott are all from Colorado and are looking to start a long tradition of in-state talent playing for the Buffaloes.

Joining them on the court will be the trio of Andre Roberson, Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie who led the Buffaloes past UNLV in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before a tough loss to Baylor in the second round.

Roberson was recently named on the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 watch list. With the departure of senior Nate Tomlinson, Roberson has emerged as a team leader alongside Dinwiddie and Booker.

“I feel like myself, Askia Booker, Sabatino Chen, Spencer Dinwiddie as well—I feel like everybody stepped up and played their part,” Roberson said to the CU Sports Information Department.

In Nate’s absence, Dinwiddie will be able to return to his traditional role as a distributing point guard rather than as a scorer. He averaged 10 ppg with 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists last year.

“I want to do whatever helps the team win, obviously,” Dinwiddie said. “If the team’s flowing you’ll probably see more passing, if it’s not flowing you’ll probably see more scoring.”

The team was recently ranked to finish 6th in the Pac-12 this season, finishing below Arizona and California who they beat in the Pac-12 tournament last season. You can expect that the team will use this as motivation in their quest for a second Pac-12 title and tournament appearance.

“I feel like we haven’t gained enough respect yet,” Roberson said. “I just like we’ve got to go out there and work hard every day in practice, continue to get better and just go out there and continue to prove everybody wrong once again.”

Boyle isn’t worried.

“Talk is cheap. I don’t get into preseason predictions,” the coach said. “They picked us 11th last year, sixth this year. Nothing is more irrelevant in my mind.”

Not only does the team hope to get a win on the court, they plan to get one in the stands as well. The season opener is predicted to be one of the most attended games in Buffs history, as the Coors Events Center expects to seat over 11,000 onlookers.

If the predictions hold true it will be Tad Boyl’s tenth sold out game.

Tipoff is at 5 p.m. in the Coors Events Center.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Shay Knolle at Shay.knolle@colorado.edu

Quotes Courtesy of SID.

 

 

About Shay Knolle

Shay Knolle is a journalism major at the University of Colorado. Born the son of Zeus, he is an avid supporter of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oakland Raiders, with a extreme dislike of all things Boston (looking at you Brady).

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