Two freshman guards are making a big impact on the Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team’s 2011-12 season.
Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie have become the top scoring freshmen tandem in CU history, combining to average 20 points a game. Not only are they helping the Buffs succeed in their first season in the Pac-12, but they are also giving Colorado basketball a bright future. CU currently sits fourth in the Pac-12.
“What makes me happy is looking down at the stat sheet and seeing two freshmen who play their tails off and we got them for three more years,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said.
Booker, who hails from Los Angeles, has come off the bench to ignite the Buffs, averaging 9.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 21.3 minutes. The Buffs are 10-1 when Booker has scored in double digits.
Booker said he has a fearless attitude that helps him provide that important spark for the Buffs.
“When I get on the court, my mentality takes me a long way,” Booker said. “It’s fearlessness, I don’t really care who you are or how big you are, it’s my skill against yours and I want to be the one who succeeds in that battle.”
Colorado was the only school from the big time conferences to offer Booker a scholarship. Now he says he uses that as motivation every time he goes out on the court.
“When other schools don’t offer you and feel like you should have gotten a little bit more offers than you had at the time, there’s always a chip on my shoulder to come out here and prove those other schools wrong,” Booker said. “That’s always in the back of my mind.”
Dinwiddie has been a starter all season and has averaged 10.9 points, the third most by a freshman in the Pac-12, and 3.8 rebounds. He played as a point guard in high school, but has switched to shooting guard for the Buffs.
Dinwiddie compliments his teammates for helping transition to the new position.
“[The transition] has been pretty seamless,” Dinwiddie said. “Carlon [Brown] has taken me under his wing. He’s tried to educate me on the college game, and so it’s been pretty seamless.”
Turning down offers from more prestigious programs, such as UNLV, Dinwiddie chose to help Boyle and the Buffs build toward becoming a great program.
“Coach Boyle had a vision for the program, and he shared that with me, and that was big reason why I committed here because of the potential this program had to be great,” Dinwiddie said. “Seeing the slow transformation right now, it’s wonderful, and we just want to keep getting better.”
Booker and Dinwiddie have also seen a lot of fan support for the Buffs, which hasn’t been there in previous seasons, and Booker said it really helps the team when they’re out on the court.
“I thought it was pretty good in the first place when it was half full, it wasn’t that bad, but now, like the Oregon game, it was crazy, and I think that was one of the reasons why we won the game, because of the fans,” Booker said. “It goes a long way when you’re out there.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mark McNeillie at Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org.