100 Teams in 100 Days: Colorado Buffaloes

2016-2017 Season Review

Tad Boyle’s squad got off to a decent start last season, playing Notre Dame tough, beating a Texas team that was ranked and expected to be good at the time and beating Xavier. They were 10-3 in their in-conference slate. But then the Pac-12 began and things got ugly quick. They lost at Utah. Then they lost at Arizona State. Then they lost at Arizona. Before you knew it, the Buffaloes had started off their Pac-12 schedule 0-7. Give Colorado credit, though. They kept fighting and went 8-3 the rest of the regular season and also picked up a win in the Pac-12 Tournament. They earned a #5 in the NIT, where they lost in the first round to UCF to finish the season 19-15. It was certainly a disappointing season, but it could’ve been much worse.

Key Losses

The Buffaloes lost quite a bit from last season, starting with their leader in scoring, assists, steals, three pointers and minutes. That man was Derrick White, who was named to the Pac-12’s all conference first team for his impressive senior season. He averaged 18.1/4.1/4.4, 1.2 SPG, 1.4 BPG and hit 57 threes. Xavier Johnson also graduated after a senior season in which he averaged 14.8 PPG and 5.9 RPG. Forward Wesley Gordon is gone after putting up 6.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG and a team high 1.5 BPG last season. He was also second on the team in assists with 1.9 per game. Josh Fortune, who started 17 games for Colorado, graduated after scoring 6.0 PPG and grabbing 3.0 RPG. Guard Bryce Peters played 15.8 MPG in his freshman season, averaging 4.7 PPG, but he decided to transfer. Thomas Akyazili also decided to leave the program, heading to Belgium to play professionally. He played 10.4 MPG as a sophomore.

Key Returners

6’6 senior George King returns after scoring 11.1 PPG, grabbing a team high 6.8 RPG and hitting 47 threes last season. 6’2 senior Dominique Collier averaged 6.0 PPG in 18.5 MPG last season. Collier started 15 games for the Buffs. 6’9 Tory Miller is back for his season year following a junior season in which he played 15.8 MPG, averaging 5.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest. Deleon Brown, a 6’4 sophomore, played 12.0 MPG last season, scoring 3.2 PPG. 6’10 sophomore Lucas Siewert, saw 11.5 minutes of playing time per game during his freshman season.

Key Newcomers

Tad Boyle brings in five freshman as part of the 2017 recruiting class, two guys from the 2016 class that redshirted last season and a transfer. The 2017 class was the #19 rated class in the nation and #5 in the Pac-12 according to 247Sports. D’Shawn Schwartz is a 6’7 four star wing that was the #1 prospect in Colorado. Schwartz is a long, versatile player that has a nice mid-range game. Tyler Bey, a 6’8 four star forward, is a an extremely athletic player with a rapidly improving skill set. He’s a high ceiling type of prospect. Evan Battey is another 6’8 four star forward that weighs 280 pounds. Battey can use his big frame to score and rebound down low and he’s also a very good passer out of the post. McKinley Wright is a three star PG that measures in at 6’0. Originally a Dayton recruit until Archie Miller left for Indiana, Wright is a speedy point guard that is a solid floor general. Rounding out the 2017 class is Lazar Nikolic, a 6’6 wing from Serbi. Nikolic is a polished player that has a smooth stroke and passes well. For the redshirts from the 2016 class, 6’7 Alexander Strating came to Colorado as a walk-on but will be under scholarship this season. Dallas Walton is a 7’0 big man that gives the Buffs some more size. Tad Boyle also will have Missouri transfer Namon Wright eligible this season. A 6’5 junior, Wright averaged 9.6 PPG and 5.2 RPG in 2015-2016. 

Final Take

There are definitely going to be some growing pains for this Colorado, as the team will be mostly underclassmen. That being said, there is also a lot of talent on the roster with this arbuably being Boyle’s best recruiting class at Colorado mixed with guys who can play like George King and Dominique Collier. Expectations should be fairly low for this team, but they have the ability to scare some opponents this season.

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