Colorado Freshmen Impress in Opening Win Over Wofford
Colorado’s home opener was unlike any that the basketball program had ever experienced in its 112 years of playing in Boulder.
The Buffaloes opened this season as the defending conference champions, they unveiled a banner (not really a banner, more like a slab of stone) and they played in front of a sellout crowd, the most they’ve ever played in front of in a home opener.
One other thing that Colorado had never experienced before was debuting a recruiting class that carried so much expectation. Colorado’s six-man class was the highest rated recruiting class that ever stepped foot in Boulder and it’s something that Buffaloes fans are not used to.
A lot of good things are expected of this talented group of players but first things first they had to play their first collegiate game and they were very impressive in the 74-59 victory over Wofford.
Josh Scott, the highest rated member in the class, was in the starting lineup and it was evident why. He finished the game as Colorado’s leading scorer with 14 points while chipping in six rebounds and two blocks. For being just a freshmen, Scott’s game was very polished and he was especially impressive on the low block. His presence down low was another thing that Colorado fans aren’t used to but it’s something that will be a welcome sight this season.
“He was terrific, once we got him some post touches and he was good down there,” said head coach Tad Boyle referring to Scott’s debut. “I think he had a pretty stellar effort for a guy who only took four shots…. We haven’t had a low post presence in the last two years.”
Besides Scott, three of the other freshmen made their debut and they played some solid minutes in Colorado’s deep rotation. Xavier Johnson, one of the top 100 recruits in the nation, was a force on the boards as he led the team with eight rebounds, two on the offensive glass. His energy on the boards is something for Colorado fans to look forward to as Johnson evolves into their perennial sixth-man role.
“Xavier Johnson physically is capable; he is a competitive guy, and wants to do well, and he is very coachable,” Boyle said. “As long as that continues he is going to have a monster freshman year as well.”
Eli Stalzer and Xavier Talton played well in limited minutes as they made their debuts but it will take some time for them to find their roles as the season progresses. With that said, Boyle has to be pleased with how they performed in their first collegiate action and he’s very excited about what the future holds for this up and coming program.
“The future of this program is bright, we just want to continue to lay the foundation and keep improving everyday.”
David LaRose is one of the featured College Basketball writers for Rant Sports covering the Pac 12 and the University of Colorado. He’s also a member of the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association of America. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.