Shannon Sharpe is hungrier than ever.
After the 6-foot-1-inch guard’s knee injury during the first practice last October, Sharpe was forced to spend the 2009-2010 season watching from the sidelines. The injury was especially devastating, as Sharpe arrived at CU intriguing many players and fans with his rookie skills.
He said he learned a lot from the bench last year and is ready to put the experience into play.
“I learned a lot actually,” Sharpe said. “I got to see things from the sideline and understand what coaches are talking about, instead of being on the court and not being able to see.”
Senior guard Cory Higgins said he is excited to have Sharpe back and is ready to see his talents take form.
“He has the best athletic ability of anybody on the team,” Higgins said.
Sharpe said he is ready for his first game against Idaho State on Friday.
“Yeah, I’m definitely ready,” Sharpe said. “I’ve been out for about a year now, and I’m anxious to get on the court and see what my teammates and I can accomplish.”
Sharpe, like his team, has heavy goals for the season. However, mentions of big long-term goals, like the NCAAs at the Basketball Media Day held earlier this fall, were met with caution.
Sharpe said he is interested in proving the nay-sayers wrong.
“We like being the underdog, so we can prove ourselves,” Sharpe said.
Head coach Tad Boyle said Sharpe is someone the team will need to reach its goals.
“He’s gotten in better shape and continues to improve every day,” Boyle said of Sharpe at the Basketball Media Day. “Defensively, he brings a presence that this team didn’t have.”
The biggest challenge the team will face will be controlling the ball, Sharpe said, especially rebounding.
If you have ever seen Sharpe’s YouTube “dunk-off” video, it is clear he knows how to handle the ball. In this video, viewers are asked to rate which player they think won the dunk-off.
Sharpe said there might not be a point to even vote.
“Well, I won that,” he said, smiling. “Or I think I did.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mackenzie Carroll at email@example.com.