The much anticipated Colorado Buffaloes freshmen class made their debut with the rest of the Buffs Wednesday night and made a strong first impression on the coaches and returning players.
Xavier Johnson, Josh Scott, Eli Stalzer, Wesley Gordon, Chris Jenkins and Xavier Talton had their first full team practice at the Coors Events Center on Wednesday. They bring youth and talent to an already young squad and will most likely contribute right away.
Just like the CU football team, the basketball team will have to rely on their freshmen to make an immediate impact next season. In Tad Boyle’s third season at the helm he will be leading a very young team consisting of only one senior and over half of the roster filled with underclassmen. After leading the Buffs to two consecutive record setting seasons fans are excited to see what Boyle can do with a top-25 recruiting class.
These underclassmen are extremely talented and, like we saw last season, are capable of leading the Buffs to conference championships and NCAA Tournament victories. Now sophomores, Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker know what that’s all about as they were a big part of last season’s success as freshmen.
Six incoming freshmen make up the No. 21 recruiting class in the country and they have some familiarity amongst themselves. Two played against each other for the Colorado 4-A State Championship (John Scott & Wesley Gordon), two were teammates last season at Mater Dei H.S. in California (Xavier Johnson & Eli Stalzer) and the others are sure to fit in quickly.
Holdovers from last year, headlined by Andre Roberson, Dinwiddie and Booker, look to improve on their accomplishments, defend their conference championship and go even deeper into the NCAA Tournament. They will push the freshmen to play up to their potential but they will also get some help from famous Buff alumni.
NBA players Alec Burks and Cory Higgins will return next week to run with the Buffs and show these young guys what it takes to make it to the next level.
The more experience these young players can get playing together will only help them in the long run. It will also set up an exciting upcoming season with expectations at an all-time high. Let’s hope these young guns are up to the challenge.