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Opening night can go one of two ways for a team: the players can show they are ready to be placed on the showroom floor, or they can show that they need a bit more time back in pre-production.
If Friday night serves as any indication, Tad Boyle and company are more than ready to woo the world. With a team of young and unproven talent, the Buffs rolled convincingly past Wofford College at the Coors Events Center, winning 74-59.
Boyle said he was satisfied with the work his team put out.“Good first game I think,” Boyle said. “There were some things that we can build on from a positive standpoint, and there’s obviously a lot of room for improvement as well.”
Freshman forward Josh Scott put on a show in his college debut, leading the team in scoring despite a good effort put forth by sophomore guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker. Despite only scoring two points in the first half, Scott exploded for 12 more in the second.
“I just let the game come to me without trying to force anything,” Scott said.
The homegrown freshman from Monument proved to be a force down low. Having no answer for the big man, Wofford reverted to using a “Hack-a-Scott” technique that sent Scott to the line 11 times. As the season progresses, expect to see Scott remain a large part of what the team has to offer offensively.
“Josh was terrific,” Boyle said. “Once we got him some post touches, and you know he’s good down there, he has a knack for getting to the foul line. He had 14 points and six rebounds. That’s a pretty solid effort for a guy who only took four shots.”
Scott received some praise from his teammates too.
“Scott did his thing,” Dinwiddie said. “He’s probably the most maligned out of the freshmen up here not to be red-shirting and he went out there and played solid for us. I’m probably the most proud of him out of everybody.”
After a slow start to the game offensively, the Buffs recovered and gained a double-digit lead with 10:05 remaining in the half. The Buffs then went on an 11-3 run to start the second half, and Wofford was unable to overcome. Colorado finished the game shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 33 percent from the three point arc.
Booker was an aggressor tonight and scored early and often for the team. Both he and Dinwiddie finished with 13 points.
As a team, the Buffs only allowed Wofford two layups the entire game, but had issues stopping them from scoring beyond the arc. They held the Terriers to 36 percent shooting the entire game.
There was a slight scare for the team when Dinwiddie was temporarily hurt and failed to make it down court after a defensive stop. He made it to the bench under his own power, though, and proved he was fine by taking an emphatic dunk to start the second.
Beyond just winning games, Boyle said he hopes to fill the stands as well as the season continues.
“I’ve said this before: until we’ve sold every ticket in this building before the first tip off, we’ve got work to do,” Boyle said. “We’re making strides in that direction. Our fans have been terrific.
Unfortunately, the next test of home-court pride will have to wait. The team heads to South Carolina for the Charleston Classic for a three-game tournament next week, so Colorado fan attendance may be low. Still, the Buffs hope to put on a show for whomever is sitting in the stands.
When asked what they wanted to see from their road trip, the answer from the Buffs was simple and unanimous:
The team makes its way to Charleston for three games from Nov. 15-18 before returning to Boulder to face the Air Force Academy on November 25. The Charleston Classic games will be televised on ESPNU and ESPN 3.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Shay Knolle at Shay.firstname.lastname@example.org.