The Colorado Buffaloes do not a get a lot of attention, but that might be part of coach Tad Boyle’s plan. The 20th ranked Buffaloes started their slate of Pac-12 games against Oregon State University.
The athleticism is there. The athleticism Colorado brings to the court every night matches the likes of the Arizona Wildcats, the Oregon Ducks and the UCLA Bruins. Point guard Spencer Dinwiddie leads the way with his athleticism and savvy with the ball in his hands.
The offense is there. The Buffs score 77 points per game and can go off at any moment if they play their game. However, the one thing about their offense that is bothersome is that they play too quickly for their own good, except against Oregon, where they shot a measly 28 percent and did not play to the style that coach Boyle wants. Oregon pressured them into taking long-range jumpers in transition and in half-court sets. Dinwiddie is a go-to scorer that not a lot of teams have, making them unique in their approach to offense.
The defense is there. The only time they allowed more than 75 points in a game was a loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys at a neutral location. They have the length that’s needed for a run at the Pac-12 title. Leading the defense is Josh Scott, who rebounds and closes out better than anybody in the conference as a post player.
The teams are there. Colorado has proven, through a rigorous non-conference schedule that included the Kansas Jayhawks, the Baylor Bears, the OK-State Cowboys, the Wyoming Cowboys and the Georgia Bulldogs, that they can compete with anyone. The losses were close and battle-ridden.
The struggle is there. Despite having a hard time scoring and shooting against the Beavers, they won and controlled the game, for the most part. A team that battles adversity early in the season is most likely going to use that to their advantage later on in the season when the going gets tough.
The Pac-12 is deep and will likely feature the Wildcats as the winner, but if there’s a No. 2, I’m taking the Buffs to take that throne.
John Lloyd is a Pac-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII