The Colorado men’s basketball team enters this season as one of the youngest teams in Division I basketball. The team, which is led by pre-season, All-Big 12 player Richard Roby, will rely on as many as seven freshmen to play lengthy minutes throughout the year.
The eight freshmen on the roster constitute the youngest team in the 105-year history of CU men’s basketball. At media day, The Campus Press sat down and talked to all of the freshmen that are expected to log significant playing time for head coach Ricardo Patton.
Personal: 6’1″, 170 pounds. Hometown is Tempe, Ariz.
Position: Point Guard
High school career: Bay, a four-year starter at Marco De Niza High School in Tempe, holds the Arizona state record for assists in a game with 15. He shot over 90 percent from the free-throw line during his high school career and was named All-State his junior year. He averaged 23.5 points per game his senior year to go along with 7.6 assists.
Straight from the source: “I think I’m performing well in practice. I think I’m ready to do whatever coach asks me. I know I need to continue to work on all my fundamentals of the game. Ball handling is a huge thing in this conference where guys pressure you full court all the time. That is what I need to be ready for.”
Assistant coach John Anderson: “Kal Bay is a solid point guard who can make shots. He’s very crafty with the basketball and is dangerous in transition. He’ll be a guy who will make some big shots and win some games for us.”
Bay’s thoughts on Coach Patton’s resignation after this season: “I feel that we’ve come together closer because of this. I think it takes pressure off of us because we don’t have to answer questions after every win or loss about Coach.”
Sean Kowal (CQ)
Personal: 6’10”, 235 pounds. Hometown is St. Louis, Mo.
High school career: Sean Kowal comes to CU from De Smet Jesuit High School where he was named 2006 Metro Catholic Conference Player of the Year when he averaged 10.6 ppg and 7.7 rebounds per game. He was named to the honorable mention all-metro team by the St. Louis Dispatch following his senior year.
Straight from the source: “I need to work on my confidence. Coming in straight out of high school some of these guys have been playing in the Big 12 for a few years.”
Anderson: “He’s very competitive. He’s got a chance to be a great player. I’d like to see him get off the floor a little quicker.”
Personal: 6’5″, 195 pounds. Hometown is Austin, Tex.
High school career: While playing at Brewster Academy prep school last year along with seven other Division I signees, Silas averaged 12.8 ppg. During his four-year high school career in Texas, Silas was a 2005 McDonald’s All-America nominee after leading his team to a 27-6 overall record. Silas averaged 23 ppg and eight rbp his senior year when he was named an All-Central and All-Region first team selection. He broke 11 of his high school’s records, including points in a game (42) and points averaged in a season (23.7).
Straight from the source: “I know I can do a lot of good things and improve on a lot of things. It’s up to the coaches. The coaches tell me what to do and I’m a good listener, so I’m going to try to listen to them and learn.”
Anderson : “He’s got a chance to be something special. He’s got a chance to be an All-Big 12 player. He has a great bloodline and he can definitely play at the next level.”
Silas on Coach Patton’s resignation: “I don’t think that anyone’s going to (transfer). I’m not thinking about after this season. I’m thinking about this season because we have a lot to prove.”
Personal: 6’3″, 180 pounds. Hometown is Arlington, Texas
Position: Point Guard
High school career: At Martin High School, Thorne averaged over 18 ppg, six rpg and four apg his senior year. He was the first player in his school’s 22-year history to play varsity all four seasons of his career. He was All-District and All-Region his senior year.
Straight from the source: “Shooting is a strength of mine. Things I need to work on are getting quicker than I already am. I need to get used to the speed of the game. The speed and athleticism in the college game are so much better. The learning curve is a lot quicker.”
Anderson: “He’s a guy with nice size for a point guard. He doesn’t talk as much as (Kal Bay) and that’s probably something he needs to improve on but he has all the necessary tools to be an outstanding player in this league.”
Thorne on Coach Patton’s resignation: “I came to the University of Colorado to play for Coach Patton but I’m here. Me staying here is what I’m going to do.”
Marc Van Burck
Personal: 6’11”, 280 pounds. Hometown is Star City, Saskatchewan
High school career: Van Burck played three years of varsity basketball at his high school in Canada. During his senior year, Van Burck averaged 24 ppg to go along with 15 rpg and four blocked shots. He was a member of the Canada U-17 Developmental National Team that went up against the likes of Greg Oden
Straight from the source: “I can be a good low post presence with some good outside touch. I can bring my defender outside of the paint. I’m working on strength and low post moves to try to make myself as dominant as I can be.”
Anderson: “Great attitude and great work ethic. He’s a kid who put up huge numbers in Canada. He probably didn’t play at this level of competition but nonetheless he’s a guy who’s improving everyday. He’s a great guy to coach. He can pass really well for a big guy.”
Personal: 6’7″, 215 pounds. Hometown is Memphis, Tenn.
High school career: Williams was a part of the Hamilton High School team that had a perfect 39-0 record last year and finished the year as USA Today’s seventh-ranked high school team in the country. Williams was a finalist for the Mr. Tennessee Basketball Award following his senior year in which he averaged 17 ppg and 11 rpg. He was also a first team All-State player following his senior season.
Straight from the source: “I have the ability to work inside and out. I’m a difficult match up. One thing I need to work on is my ball handling. If I can get that it will be big because I’ll be able to do everything.”
Anderson: “He’s a major athlete. He’s got a great upside. He can shoot the ball and run and play high above the rim. He’s working on his handles on the perimeter. He’ll be a three-guy at the next level.”