As the saying goes, a home game was exactly what the doctor ordered for Colorado.
The Buffaloes returned home to the friendly confines of the Coors Events Center and put on a show for the fourth largest crowd in school history. After having a bit of trouble on the road to start off Pac 12 conference play Colorado regained their swagger in a blowout 75-54 win over Stanford on Thursday night.
Colorado got strong performances from all of their starters, but the most impressive performance came from junior forward Andre Roberson. From the get go, Roberson was dialed in and by the time the game was over, Roberson’s stat line looked like this: 12 points, 20 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Roberson tied a career-high with 20 rebounds, he had 11 by halftime, and provided some much needed leadership, which the other players fed off of. After his monster game on the boards Roberson became the top rebounder in Division-I as it boosted his rebounding average to 11.9 per game.
Head coach Tad Boyle sensed right away that Roberson was in the game mentally and knew they were going to get a strong game from the NBA prospect.
“We fed off Andre tonight . . . He was a beast and played like the Andre we know and love. He was after it from the get-go” Boyle said after the game.
Colorado’s players were boosted by Roberson’s strong play on the boards, but the crowd was energized by freshman Xavier Johnson and his highlight reel dunks. “X” slammed it down four times on Thursday night, but none more exciting than his first half baseline, tomahawk jam that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Johnson has gotten better each game, his shooting has improved and with it his confidence has grown ten-fold.
This was exactly the type of game that Colorado needed to regain their confidence and swagger. Getting out in transition, scoring fast break points and playing solid defense while rebounding is what the Buffaloes do best and it was all on display against Stanford. It’s possible that this game can spark a run for Colorado simply because it boosted their psyche.
They have one more game at home this weekend as they take on Cal and if they played like they did against the other Bay Area team, they will be just fine.
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.