Arielle Roberson makes strong debut for Buffs

After sitting out the 2011-12 season due to injury, redshirt freshman Arielle Roberson has big goals for herself and for the CU women’s basketball team.

Roberson spent her freshman year on the bench after experiencing a torn labrum in her left hip. Though she was off the court, Roberson said that she learned a lot throughout the year about how the team played and what she should do once she was able to play again.

Freshman Arielle Roberson runs through the CSU defender on her way to the basket. (Amy Leder/CU Independent)

“There is always that bonus for sitting,” Roberson said. “There are positives and negatives. I guess last season, right before I got hurt and had to sit out, I was practicing and did not understand what the coaches were saying. And then when I got to sit out, I was like, ‘Oh, that is what she means by jumping into the pass or being in the right position.’ I mean when you are out there, you think you are doing everything the right way, but you are really not.”

Roberson had surgery on her hip last December and was able to make her official debut with the Buffs this season.

“[Playing] is a lot better. It is more exciting,” Roberson said. “I guess I’m just more excited all around for basketball season. Coming to basketball practice every day, doing the same thing, kind of got monotonous. I guess a little boring after a while.”

Roberson said she is facing a heightened challenge this season, but she enjoys playing much more than watching from the sideline.

“Now that I am here and the games are here, it is just so exciting,” Roberson said. “Something different, which is good.”

Prior to CU, Roberson played ball at Wagner High School and club TeamXpress in San Antonio, Texas. She helped her team to a 32-7 record her senior year, advancing to the semifinals of the Texas 5A State Tournament. Roberson said that college basketball definitely has its differences.

“I had to pick up on the speed of the game,” Roberson said. “I mean, granted, club ball was tough and a fast pace, but coming into college it’s a lot more physical and you are running. That is all they do here is run.”

It took a while for Roberson to decide her basketball fate at either CU or North Carolina State. Her older brother, CU junior and basketball forward Andre, helped sway her decision — knowing that she would see his familiar face around campus.

“I guess he just tipped the scale,” Roberson said. “I was kind of up in the air on where I wanted to go in the first place. When you have your brother here, compared to a place where you don’t know anyone, you consider whether to go somewhere where you are unfamiliar and have no friends or here where you have friends.”

Finally making her debut with CU, Roberson is averaging 16.5 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and a 62 percent free throw average as of the team’s Dec. 11 decisive 83-63 win over University of Denver. She has already been named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week three times and has been selected twice for CU Athlete of the Week.

“I do want to make a name for myself in the Pac-12,” Roberson said. “I do have future goals for when I am out of here to play ball professionally. Starting out on a good note in the Pac-12, getting Pac-12 All-Freshman Team or whatever it may be. That is what I am going for.”

Her team should help her accomplish those goals, based on the success of the season so far. The Buffs are undefeated at 9-0, and Roberson said they have big goals for the rest of the season.

“We all have the same goals – finishing off this preseason strong,” Roberson said. “I would like to go undefeated because our biggest challenge in the preseason is Louisville and I think that is going to be a good test for us. So if we can get through that then we can get through a lot of other games.”

As for as conference play, Roberson says the Buffs are hoping to finish in the top four.

“We want to get into the NCAA Tournament and make a run and do something that has not been done for a while,” Roberson said. “We are all just pushing for it.”

The Buffs face No. 8 University of Louisville on Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at Coors Events Center. The women’s team will play its next six games at home in Boulder.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jillian Arja at Jillian.arja@colorado.edu.

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