The Colorado Buffaloes have started the 2015-16 college basketball season strong, ripping off seven straight wins after losing their season opener 68-62, against then #7 Iowa State. After failing to make the NCAA Tournament last season, the first losing season (16-18, 7-11 Pac-12) under head coach Tad Boyle, the Buffaloes look to be poised for a deep tournament run.

After being predicted to finish seventh in the preseason Pac-12 polls, not many casual college basketball fans, or ‘experts’ for that matter are taking the Buffaloes very seriously.

After an impressive 88-77 win over a solid Colorado State team yesterday, in which Colorado¬†came back from a 13-point halftime deficit; I got to thinking. This team can win the Pac-12 and advance deep into the NCAA Tournament. Here are five reasons why….

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1. Experience

  • The Buffaloes boast a deep unit that is filled with Junior’s and Senior’s who have been around the game of college basketball for a while now. Four of their top six scorer’s and their top three rebounder’s are either third or fourth year players, headlined by center Josh Scott, who we will talk about later. Only one freshman sees consistent playing time, Thomas Akyazili, a guard from Belgium. His European style fits well in Boulder and has quickly adapted to the college game.

2. Depth

  • Tad Boyle plays a nine-man rotation in which each player averages no less than 17 minutes a game. This type of depth can wear out opponents, case-in-point yesterday’s game against bitter rival Colorado State. CSU jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first half, but in the second they were visibly tired and failed to make easy jump shots and defend with the same proficiency. Colorado meanwhile, had rested legs and they took advantage, offensively and defensively. They played aggressive man-to-man defense and did not see a drop in their shooting percentage, resulting in a 49-25 beat down in the second half of their game.
(CU Athletics)
Josh Scott is one of the best Center’s in the Pac-12. (CU Athletics)

3. All-Conference Big Man

  • His name…Josh Scott. The 6’10 Senior has been a four-year starter for Tad Boyle and has seen his numbers increase each year on campus. For his size, Scott has great range, making 19-foot jumpers from the top of the key, while being versatile enough¬†to back his way down-low on virtually any opponent. His 83% free throw shooting is good for third on the team, so fouling him will do opposing teams no good. Not only is he dominating on the court, but he is their leader in the locker room as well, holding all players accountable for their play. This leadership might not be publicized often, but in the game of college basketball, it is crucial to have a player like this on any team.

4. Coaching

  • Tad Boyle has won everywhere he has gone. Whether it was turning around a Northern Colorado team that went 4-24 in his first season as coach, to 25-8 just four years later. Or the job he has done at Colorado, winning 21+ games his first four years at the school, no other coach has done that at CU. His 167-134 career coaching record may not blow you away, but he has done that with less talent on the floor than most coaches with that many wins.
From left to right, George King, Josh Fortune, Josh Scott (CU Athletics)
From left to right, George King, Josh Fortune, Josh Scott (CU Athletics)

5. Shooting

  • Last year the Buffaloes struggled shooting from the floor, especially from three, ranking 10th in the conference last year in overall FG % (42%). This season it is a completely different story, and it is thanks to Redshirt Sophomore George King and Providence-transfer Josh Fortune. King and Fortune are the Buffs’ second and third leading scorers’ respectively, and have range from anywhere on the court. Both players are shooting better than 45% from the floor and 40% from three-point land. This shooting prowess allows for excellent spacing on the court, making teams put only one defender on Scott, something he can beat with relative ease. The Buffs average nine three-point baskets per game, up from five baskets a year ago.

These five factors will all make an impact on the Buffs’ success this season. Standing at 7-1 before conference play is a great start, but ultimately their success will be linked to how they perform against other Pac-12 teams. Can they hang with the Arizona’s, Cal’s and Utah’s this season? Only time will tell, but I am willing to say top three in the conference is not out of the question for this talented and deep Colorado squad.

 

https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/a19.jpg?fit=654%2C402&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/a19.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Dan SchalkAnalysisBasketballNCAABPac-12Recent Posts#NCAAB,Colorado Buffaloes,George King,Josh Fortune,Josh Scott,Pac-12,Tad BoyleThe Colorado Buffaloes have started the 2015-16 college basketball season strong, ripping off seven straight wins after losing their season opener 68-62, against then #7 Iowa State. After failing to make the NCAA Tournament last season, the first losing season (16-18, 7-11 Pac-12) under head coach Tad Boyle, the...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?