Finally, basketball season is almost underway. Well, kind of. It’s still a few weeks away but the CU men’s basketball team had its media day Thursday and told the world what they expect out of the season.
“It’s going to be a fun year,” said Tad Boyle, third year head coach. “It’s going to be a team you can watch grow and develop as the season goes on.”
In this file photo, freshman guard Spencer Dinwiddie goes to the basket during the 70-57 win over Cal on Feb. 26. (CU Independent File/James Bradbury)
The team has six freshmen coming in to replace the six seniors they lost, four of whom were starters including Carlon Brown and Nate Tomlinson.
“It’s a whole new team and we need to concentrate on getting better every day,” Boyle said. ”There is no substitute for experience.”
They aren’t all new players though, as two starters are returning to this Buff team. Andre Roberson, a junior, and sophomore, Spencer Dinwiddie, will be the driving forces behind the team this coming season.
Roberson led the Pac –12 in rebounds, blocked shots and double-doubles last season. He also broke school records in all three of those categories. He was third in the nation in rebounding with 11.1 per game. Roberson was the first Buff to average a double-double over a season since Stephane Pelle in the 2001—2002 season. He will look to become the first Buff to repeat the feat since Shaun Vandiver from 1988 – 1991.
“I’m definitely ready…There is a little pressure but it’s nothing we can’t handle,” Roberson said. “I definitely feel like I play a big part as far as leadership on this team.”
With only one senior on this year’s squad, Roberson will have to take on a bigger leadership role. Lone senior, Sabatino Chen, however, is ready to take on that role.
“I mostly lead by example, but I’ve been working with coach and he’s been wanting me to be more vocal,” Chen said. “I try to be like a second coach out there on the floor.”
Chen came off the bench last year and averaged only two points a game. He will need to be more productive this year with so many fresh faces.
Two of those new faces are coming from the same place. Freshmen Eli Stalzer and Xavier Johnson are both products of Mater Dei High School in Brea, Calif.
“It helped me get acclimated to the area,” Johnson said “He was my point guard back in high school, we work together and make things happen.”
The 2012-2013 Buffs have a lot to live up to and the expectations are high. Last year the Buffs won the Pac—12 tournament and made their first NCAA tournament appearance in nine years. Combine that with their school record 24 wins, and you’re left with a pretty big pair of shoes to fill. With CU football being what it is, everyone is excited that basketball is just around the corner.
“There are bigger days ahead for Colorado basketball, and we need to stay hungry,” Boyle said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Scott Annis at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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