The University of Colorado men’s basketball squad sits at a 9-6 overall record and is 2-1 in Pac-12 play, good enough for sixth in the conference. The Buffs’ mediocre start has left many wondering whether they can rebound for the second half of the season and, more importantly, make it into the NCAA Tournament.
The first thing worth noting is that in terms of overall record, the Buffs have regressed from last season. Last year, the team was 13-2 at this point in the season, and in the 2012-13 season were 11-4. Perhaps most shocking is the fact that the Buffs have failed to win on the road. They are 0-4, coming off a bad loss last Wednesday at Utah.
However, let’s not kid ourselves, for over a decade the Buffs have been most comfortable at home. The last time they broke even on the road was the 2000-01 season, when they went 6-6.
So I’m not quite ready to jump ship just yet. The reason for my optimism is simple—the 2014-15 Buffs are doing better this year than the 2012-13 and 2013-14 teams in many offensive categories, including Field Goal Percentage (FG%), 3-point Percentage (3PT%) and Free Throw Percent (FT%).
Shockingly, their turnovers per game have not gone up at all. The 13.3 turnovers that the Buffs have per game this season is exactly the same as last season, and the 2012-13 season.
Finally, the Buffs are allowing their opponents an average of only 61.7 points per game, which, if it holds, would be one of the lowest totals in school history.
For a team considered to be struggling, the Buffs impress me with their offensive abilities in the absence of last year’s rock, Spencer Dinwiddie. Granted, there have been games (mostly on the road) where they have looked weak and undisciplined, but I believe they can tighten up their play and win some (road) games.
The fact that they’ve upped their offensive statistics in the first year without their former star shows the character and capabilities this team has. So to address the issues I noted in the first paragraph, YES, the Buffs can bounce back in the second half of the season. It will be a close call, but I believe that the Buffs will sneak into the NCAA Tournament. Selection Sunday is just over two months away, so if the Buffs start winning on the road and keep up their impressive offensive stats, I have no doubt that they can make it into March Madness.
Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Justin Guerriero at email@example.com.