The Colorado Buffaloes came into the 2014 NCAA Tournament ranked an eighth seed while they took on the nine seeded Pittsburgh Panthers which would look like a 1 vs. 16 type of scenario. Colorado came out of the gates flat letting Pittsburgh go on a 7-0 before having to call a time-out. Junior guard Askia Booker had a game to forget as he couldn’t control the ball, turning it over four times with poor decision-making under the hoop.
Outside of Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson, there was no hope for the Buffaloes to come back from a 46-18 halftime deficit to defeat the Panthers. Senior forward Talib Zanna was too much down low for the Buffs, scoring 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting, collecting 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Pittsburgh is a team known for their defense and they would bottle up the Buffaloes Thursday afternoon.
Colorado would turn the ball over a total of 17 times in the second round match-up compared to Pittsburgh’s 3. The one stat besides turnovers that stood out the most was the attempted shots. Colorado was too hesitant which led to turnovers, shooting just 42 shot attempts while the Panthers fed off of their mistakes taking 61 shots from the field.
Colorado is a very young club and will have most of their key players returning next season. Star point guard Spencer Dinwiddie who tore his ACL in January may or may not return but there is hope on the horizon. Colorado landed a four-star point guard by the name of Dominique Collier out of Denver East High School who is rated a four-star according to Rivals.com.
Returners next season:
F: Wesley Gordon (R.FR) will be a sophomore. 5,9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.3 BLK.
F: Xavier Johnson (Soph) will be a junior. 12.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 0.8 STL.
G: Xavier Talton (Soph) will be a junior. 4.9 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.6 AST.
G: Eli Stalzer (Soph) will be a junior. 1.6 PPG, 0.8 REB, 0.3 AST.
F: Tre’Shaun Fletcher (FR) will be a sophomore. 2.9 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.2 BLK.
F: Dustin Thomas (FR) will be a sophomore. 3.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.5 AST.
G: Jaron Hopkins (FR) will be a sophomore. 4.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.0 AST.
F: Josh Scott (Soph) will be a junior. 14.1 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.1 BLK.
G: Askia Booker (Jr) will be a senior. 13.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.3 AST.