As the Colorado Buffaloes’ disappointing basketball season came to an end, questions arose regarding which Buff will be the key player for next season. In other words, which one of the guys is going to step up and become a beast on the basketball court next year?
It really is a challenge to look at the Buffaloes’ roster and be excited for any one particular player, since CU is losing so many key assets to its team.
However, a bright spot is surfacing for this Buffaloes squad. George King, who will be a senior next year, averaged 11.1 points per game and was an asset for the Buffs in 2016-2017. With so many seniors leaving this year’s team, King will be almost forced to take over the leading role for the Buffaloes.
He has to, right? Who else do the Buffaloes have on next year’s team that showed as much promise or talent as King? This is what defines great players: their ability to lead teammates when they are being counted upon to do so. King was not the featured player last season. The fact that he played so well as an addition to senior guard Derrick White shows that he’ll be ready for the challenge next year.
White, who was an absolute monster for this team, averaging 18.1 points per game, will be graduating and likely will be taking his talents to the NBA. Senior guard Xavier Johnson is gone too. Finally, senior forward Wesley Gordon is graduating and moving on with his life as well.
Before the start of last season, when the Buffs had to adjust to life without phenom forward Josh Scott, questions regarding leadership were prevalent. The long story short is that Colorado faces a mirrored dilemma heading into next season.
Johnson was well-known for his presence in the paint with his ability to score and grab rebounds. This past season, he averaged 14.8 points per game as well as six rebounds per game. King, while not as dominant on a nightly basis as Johnson or White, led the team in rebounds with an average of 6.8 per game.
I don’t think I’m alone in being worried that the Buffaloes are losing such a key player in White, but I can rest easy knowing that the Buffaloes have King next season. He’s a hybrid player that can be a consistent point-scorer. His 6-foot-6-inch frame helps him dominate in the paint, too.
So while the Buffaloes are losing an absolute beast in White, who lit up the scoreboard this year, I am confident that King will step up into Johnson’s role and be a leader for next year’s team.
Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Yama Radtke at email@example.com.