Editorial: Youth of men’s basketball team has shown early

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The University of Colorado’s men’s basketball team had high expectations coming into the 2012-13 season. With the football team playing the way it did, the basketball team was expected to bring a winner back to Boulder.

The team was poised to do it, too. After winning the Pac-12 tournament last year and winning a game against UNLV during March Madness, the Buffs looked to be trending upwards.

They lost some key players but had one of the best recruiting classes in the country to replace them. Led by junior Andre Roberson and sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie, the Buffs were expected by many to compete for the Pac-12 title and be a dark horse in the NCAA tournament.

So far, though, it hasn’t worked out that way.

The Buffs are 11-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play. They have lost tough games against Wyoming, Arizona, and UCLA. Not to mention Arizona State who upset them and USC who nearly upset them.

Senior guard Sabatino Chen beats USC’s Chass Bryan to a loose ball during a game against USC at the Coors Events Center on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. (Kai Casey/CU Independent)

Losing to Arizona (in questionable fashion) has affected the team in a negative way. Since then they have lost three of their last four games. They are a very young team and a loss like that can really affect the mentality of the players.

The team needs time to mature and they will more than likely be playing better by the end of the season. They have let teams come back on them and given up games at the end. They should have won in Arizona but it should not have been that close. The Buffs had a 17-point lead at one point and a veteran team would have been better suited to put the Wildcats away.

With only one senior on the team, Sabatino Chen, the Buffs are looking for leadership. Someone needs to step up and take control of the team.

Askia Booker and Dinwiddie both lead the team with scoring averages just over 14 points per game. Currently, Roberson is the only player separating himself from the rest of the team and stepping up as the go-to guy. His rebounding average is 11.8 a game, third in the nation according to ESPN.

The schedule gives the Buffs a little break starting Wednesday with Washington. Their record looks good, but it has been padded with easy games. The Huskies lost to CSU at home, a team that the Buffs beat handily.

After that, the Buffs have four games against teams with a combined 4-12 record in Pac-12 play. The lone tough game coming up against another under-preforming team, Cal, will be played in Boulder at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 27.

The biggest tests for CU the rest of the year will come against Oregon and Arizona. The Buffs should be fired up for their rematch against the Wildcats in Boulder on Valentine’s Day.

“The expectation to win comes with an experienced and older team,” junior geology major Taylor Hindman said.

Fans continue to fill Coors Events  Center, perhaps knowing that the team can only get better.

Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Scott Annis at Robert.annis@colorado.edu.

Scott Annis

Scott is a Senior at CU majoring in Creative Writing. He grew up in Thornton, CO but spent time living in the Bay Area and North Carolina. Scott spends most of his time focused on sports. When he isn’t writing about them or watching them he plays on the CU Rugby team. Follow Scott on Twitter @SportsbyScott. Scott also writes for throughthefencebaseball.com.