In Colorado Springs, Bzdelik’s Buffs discover renewed sense of team
The Colorado men’s basketball team opened pre-season practices with a little Olympic flavor last weekend, traveling to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
“It was more than just practicing,” sophomore guard Xavier Silas said. “It was a team bonding experience. We learned a lot about each other.”
The team ate the cafeteria food, slept in the dorms and practiced in the pristine facilities.
Coach Jeff Bzdelik’s inaugural squad practiced once on Friday and Saturday and twice on Sunday.
“What was really great was that we got to spend this time in a really dedicated environment,” Bzdelik said. “This is where some of the best in the world come to train.”
The coach said he hopes the field trip will set the tone for practices to come.
The Buffs – picked to finish last in the Big 12 by the conference’s coaches after last year’s 7-20 finish – have a little more than three weeks to finish installing Bzdelik’s schemes.
After exhibition games on Nov. 1 and Nov. 6, the Buffs start the regular season at home against New Mexico on Nov. 9.
Back in the Coors Events Center this week, Silas said he thinks the team is coming along.
“I’ve noticed that the offense is really starting to click,” Silas said. “We’ve improved our communication and we’re moving the ball a lot better. We just need to keep working well.”
Averaging 12 points and 3.7 rebounds per game his freshman season, Silas looks to figure prominently in the offense. He was second in scoring to Richard Roby, who opted not to declare for the NBA Draft to stay through his senior season.
Silas describes the offense as much more complex than with former coach Ricardo Patton, describing Bzdelik’s style of coaching as more hands-on.
“It’s a lot more teaching,” he said. “He’s on the court, leading us through it. We’re out here learning, instead of doing drills.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Justin Coons at firstname.lastname@example.org.