Most college basketball players only need to make the necessary adjustments once when transitioning from high school.
For Colorado Buffaloes junior forward Marcus Relphorde, Boulder is the fifth stop in five years in his rollercoaster ride of a basketball career.
After starting out at Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) High School in the suburbs of his hometown of Chicago, Relphorde moved to American Christian (Pa.) School to play with former University of Memphis and current Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans.
When the time for college came, Relphorde was recruited by Brad Soderberg and committed to Saint Louis University. However, a head coaching change brought in former Utah boss Rick Majerus. Relphorde never found his way into Majerus’ rotation and averaged 4.3 minutes a game in 21 games with the Billikens.
Relphorde left Saint Louis after his freshman year and made his way to Indian Hills Community College in Iowa. Late in the season, he blossomed into the talent many thought he would be and averaged 14 points per game and scored in double figures in 12 of the team’s last 13 games to help lead the team to a 30-3 record.
Needless to say, his play caught the eyes of several Division-I programs, including Colorado. In the end, Relphorde chose to be a Buffalo over TCU and Arkansas.
He said Boulder is a place he doesn’t plan on leaving.
“I love it, man,” Relphorde said. “I like Boulder a lot. So far, we’ve had great fan support and hopefully we can continue to build on it and get more of those wins.”
After a rough start to his first season as a Buffalo, Relphorde has started to emerge as the third option on offense. In his first three Big 12 Conference games, Relphorde averaged 19.7 points and 5.0 rebounds and was a major factor in the squad’s upset of then No. 22 Baylor.
The man of many jerseys attributed his recent success to a newly-found comfort zone.
“Getting used to everything, learning the offense, knowing when to attack and when not to attack just so happened when we played these (Big 12) games,” Relphorde said. “I knew I had to step up, but it’s helped that I’ve been in a bunch of different systems and learning to adapt quick is something I’ve always had to do. This system helps me create match-up problems. Everything is just falling into place.”
Relphorde’s teammates say they hope he can continue his stellar play this weekend when they face a balanced Texas A&M team at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in College Station, Texas. The Aggies are 2-2 in Big 12 play and bounced back from a tough overtime loss at Texas with a big win over Oklahoma.
“They have an inside presence, good guard play, good shooters,” senior guard Dwight Thorne II said. “They’re a good all-around team.
“Donald Sloan is a good player, Bryan Davis is a good player. We have to come out and minimize their impact and make them work hard to beat us.”
As for the team’s well-documented road woes, the so-called “mental barrier” CU is trying to break is not as big a factor as some may think.
“You know, you should be able to win no matter where you play,” head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “I’ve always said I’ve never seen a fan come out of the stands to block a shot or grab a rebound.”
As for Relphorde, his recent co-Big 12 Player of the Week accolade for games of Jan. 11-17 has validated his status as a big-time contributor for the team. If he can keep it that way, the Buffs could have a bright future to look forward to, maybe a future as near as this March.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer David Starcer at David.email@example.com.