#56 Colorado Buffaloes: College Basketball 111 in 111


colorado cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

I admit that I missed the boat on the Colorado Buffaloes last season when I predicted them to struggle in their inaugural year in the Pac-12.  Instead, Tad Boyle’s team earned the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and will push for a return trip again this year.

Last Season: T-5th, 11-7 in Pac-12, 24-12 overall
Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 6th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Josh Scott (Fr)/Shane Harris-Tunks (Jr)/Ben Mills (Jr)
F: Andre Roberson (Jr)/Wesley Gordon (Fr)
G/F: Jeremy Adams (Jr)/Xavier Johnson (Fr)/Chris Jenkins (Fr)
SG: Spencer Dinwiddie (So)/Sabatino Chen (Sr)/Eli Stalzer (Fr)
PG: Askia Booker (So)/Xavier Talton (Fr)

Gone: G/F-Carlon Brown, G-Nate Tomlinson, F/C-Austin Dufault, PF-Trey Eckloff, PG-Shannon Sharpe (transfer-Cal Poly Pomona), F-Damiene Cain

2012-2013 Outlook:
The key cog for Colorado is versatile forward Andre Roberson.  The 6’7 high flyer averaged a double-double last season finishing fourth in the nation with 11.1 rebounds per game.  Roberson continues to improve his outside shooting and being even more dependable from 15 feet and out will help him take his game to an even higher level.

With Austin Dufault graduating, the Buffs need either Shane Harris-Tunks or freshman Josh Scott to step into the starting center spot.  Scott was one of the top ten center recruits in the 2012 class and should make an immediate impact from the start of the season.  He is more skilled and athletic but not as physical as Harris-Tunks.  The duo should be a solid complement to Roberson inside while seven-footer Ben Mills and newcomer Wesley Johnson will try to add some depth off the bench.

Perhaps the biggest reason for Colorado’s success last season was the instant impact made by Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker.  With Carlon Brown and Nate Tomlinson finishing their collegiate careers, the sophomore duo will take on a larger role this season.  Both guys are capable of running the point or playing off the ball which makes them rather interchangeable in the line-up.

Either Jeremy Adams or Sabatino Chen will have to emerge from a role player to starting wing.  Adams is the more offensive of the two while Chen makes his biggest impact on the defensive end.  A quartet of freshmen will compete for playing time as well led by small forward Xavier Johnson who could eventually work his way into the starting five due to his versatility on both ends.  Xavier Talton figures to see immediate court time as well, backing up Booker at the point though Dinwiddie is certainly capable of being the primary ball-handler as well.

The young core of Roberson, Dinwiddie, and Booker will drive the Buffs who figure to be a handful of Pac 12 teams vying for an at-large bid.  For Colorado to make it back to the tourney, the surrounding talent must do their part as well in hopes that someone makes an unexpected impact similar to what Dinwiddie and Booker were able to do during their freshman campaigns.

Player to Watch: Spencer Dinwiddie
Roberson will be the most hyped Buffalo this season but Colorado needs Dinwiddie to emerge as a number one scoring option.  A Pac-12 All-Freshman Team selection last year, he has the handles to break defenders down, is awesome in transition, and can stroke it from deep which makes him a pretty versatile threat.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/15 vs. Dayton (Charleston Classic)
11/16 vs. Baylor/Boston College (Charleston Classic)
11/18 vs. St. John’s/Charleston/Murray State/Auburn (Charleston Classic)
12/1 at Wyoming
12/5 vs. Colorado State
12/8 at Kansas
12/12 at Fresno State

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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