#26 Colorado Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Colorado Buffaloes

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #26
Conference Rank: #4 Pac-12

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#26 Colorado Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Colorado Basketball Tickets

Colorado got off to a great start last season and beat squads like Harvard and Kansas along the way. But when Spencer Dinwiddie went down for the season with an injury, Colorado dropped to an average team. They still managed to go 10-8 in Pac-12 play, but the offense certainly took a hit without Dinwiddie. That was certainly the case in the NCAA Tournament when the Buffaloes scored just 48 points in a blowout loss to Pittsburgh. Askia Booker did his best to take over the backcourt scoring and did average 13.7 points per game. However, Booker has been streaky at best from beyond the arc and that needs to change for his senior season.

2013-14 Record: 23-12, 10-8
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tad Boyle
Coach Record: 92-50 at Colorado, 148-116 overall

Who’s Out:
Dinwiddie averaged 14.7 points and 3.8 assists per game. Dinwiddie was one of those big, versatile guards that Coach Tad Boyle likes so much and it may be a while before CU finds another big, versatile guard as good as Dinwiddie. But the best news is that this Colorado group is used to playing without Dinwiddie and the only other loss from last season is Ben Mills, who averaged just four minutes per game.

Who’s In:
There are only three newcomers at Colorado; Dominique Collier, Josh Repine and Tory Miller. Collier is the cream of the class. The 6-2 point guard turned down some impressive offers to stay in the state of Colorado. He is a great scorer and floor leader and is expected to seriously compete for the starting point guard spot. Tory Miller is a big 6-9, 255 pound forward who can at least eat up some space in the paint as a freshman. Eventually his conditioning will need to improve before Miller can play major minutes.

Who to Watch:
While Booker was trying to pick up the slack when Dinwiddie went down, many other players gained valuable experience. Xavier Talton stepped into the point guard spot and did an admirable job. At the least, he is an experienced option now. Talton and Collier will hopefully be able to handle the point, but it is the area of concern. Xavier Johnson is the other proven scorer on the perimeter. The 6-7 wing averaged 12.0 points and 5.9 rebounds and connected on 36.3 percent of his attempts from long range. He can get up and down the floor in a hurry and will provide some highlight reel dunks. The depth on the perimeter is pretty impressive with Coach Boyle’s group of big guards. Tre’Shaun Fletcher, a 6-7 wing, showed some potential during his freshman campaign while Dinwiddie was out. Jaron Hopkins played over 18 minutes per game as a freshman and while his offense comes around, Hopkins will earn plenty of playing time with his defense. Eli Stalzer and George King add even more options for Colorado.

Final Projection:
The backcourt will get a lot of attention, but the frontcourt deserves more than they have gotten so far. Josh Scott led the team with 14.1 points and 8.4 rebounds last season and the 6-10 junior is getting some looks from NBA scouts. He is a consistent leader in the frontcourt and the backcourt needs to remember to work through their talented big man. Wesley Gordon will once again join Scott in the frontcourt. Gordon had some ups and downs as a freshman, but did averaged 6.0 rebounds per game and is only going to get better. Versatile sophomore forward Dustin Thomas will be able to come in without much of a drop off in production. This is certainly a team to watch in 2014-2015. If Talton or Collier are capable of effectively running the offense, Colorado can compete for a Pac-12 title and more. But remember that Askia is the only key senior on the roster, so even better years should be coming in 2015-2016 and beyond.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Xavier Talton, Junior, Guard, 4.9 points per game
Askia Booker, Senior, Guard, 13.7 points per game
Xavier Johnson, Junior, Guard, 12.0 points per game
Wesley Gordon, Sophomore, Forward, 5.9 points per game
Josh Scott, Junior, Forward, 14.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.2 (197th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.2 (119, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (210, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.1 (150, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (279, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.8 (265, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.8 (107, 5)
Rebound Margin: 5.9 (16, 2)
Assists Per Game: 11.3 (267, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.3 (266, 10)

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#109 Dominique Collier


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