#19 Colorado Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Colorado Buffaloes

Overall Rank: #19
Conference Rank: # 3 Pac-12
#19 Colorado Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
Colorado Team Page


The Colorado Buffaloes return a lot of experience to the table for the 2013-14 season, which should serve them well competing in the very tough Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes should be a team on a mission as well as they are looking to atone for being upset on their home floor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year. They were upset by former Big 12 rival Kansas 67-52 in surprising fashion. However, Linda Lappe has quickly brought back the culture of the Colorado program to the national stage of women’s basketball.  

2012-13 Record:  25-7, 13-5
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Linda Lappe, 4th season at Colorado, 7th overall
Coach Record:  64-37 at Colorado, 114-73 overall

The defensive end of the basketball court is a very dynamic strength for Colorado heading into this season. The Buffaloes did an excellent job of dominating on the glass last year as they outrebounded their opponents on average by nearly nine rebounds per contest. Arielle Roberson had just under seven rebounds per game. Robertson also is the leading returning scorer for Colorado as she averaged 12 points per game. The offensive attack is fairly balanced and the Buffaloes should end up with multiple double figure scorers. Senior guard Brittany Wilson and Roberson should both average in double figures this season, which should provide a nice inside and outside combination for the Colorado offense.

Colorado needs to be stronger defending the three point shot this season as they had a -.5 differential between the average number of three point shots made per game and what they allowed by the opposing team.  Free throw shooting is another point of emphasis as the Buffaloes can probably get their scoring average safely over 70 points per game if they can bump the free throw shooting percentage up to the low to mid 70 percent range this season. If they can clean this up, it should help them win tight games against teams like Cal and Stanford. The other key thing to address is getting more inside scoring to compliment Robertson down low to keep defenses honest. The growth offensively of Rachel Hargis and Hayley Smith will be key down in the post for this to happen.

Final Projection:
The schedule in the non-conference portion of the season is a pretty good one for Colorado and should set them up to get out of the blocks with a pretty good start. Iowa comes to Boulder in November, which will be a good RPI boosting type of contest if the Buffaloes can knock off the Hawkeyes. The signature matchup on the schedule in non-conference play for Colorado is a trip to Kentucky to take on Final Four participant Louisville on December 21.  In conference play, the schedule gets rolling right away with a very difficult stretch where the Buffaloes open up in Los Angeles to play USC and UCLA, and then get their only shot at Cal and Stanford. However, the good news is Cal and Stanford do have to come to Boulder and Colorado avoids playing in the Bay Area this season, which is a nice break for them. Overall, if this team can grow offensively and take advantage of having a ton of returning experience,  the Buffaloes should contend all year long in the Pac-12 and once again get a fairly high seed and another trip to the NCAA Tournament without too many problems.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Brittany Wilson, Senior, Guard, 8.3 points per game
Lexy Kresl, Junior, Guard, 6.0 points per game
Desiree Harris, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Arielle Roberson, Sophomore, Forward, 12.1 points per game
Rachel Hargis, Senior. Center, 4.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.0 (109th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 54.5 (35, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 39.4 (134, 5)
Field-Goal Defense:  35.0 (23, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  4.1 (249, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.3 (152, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.7 (182, 7)
Rebound Margin: 8.8 (11, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (139, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (70, 5)

Madness 2013 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#88 Haley Smith


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