Flash back to a year ago, where the Colorado Buffaloes made their third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, led by junior guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker. Dinwiddie was injured in early-January, tearing his left ACL as Colorado sneaked into the big dance. Fast-forward one year later and the team finished the regular season with a below-.500 record. What went wrong?
First off, Spencer Dinwiddie leaving and declaring for the NBA Draft was a huge blow for Tad Boyle and his Buffaloes. Dinwiddie did everything you asked of a point guard. His leadership was second-to-none and always made the right plays. Colorado could have easily been a top-10 team last season if it weren’t for Dinwiddie’s injury. And no, I’m not being a homer.
More from Colorado Buffaloes
- The Top Prospects From Each College in Colorado
- Colorado Basketball: 4 Things to Know about New Mexico
- Colorado Basketball: San Diego Preview and Prediction
- Colorado Football Sources: Mike MacIntyre will be let go at season’s end
- Colorado Basketball: Drake Preview and Prediction
Regarding the 2014-’15 Colorado Buffaloes, I don’t know exactly where to start. This team had no heart, no will-to-win, and I fell absolutely bad for Tad Boyle. A prime example you can look at is the Askia Booker situation with him not participating in the CBI Tournament. I get that Tad Boyle wants his players to know what it’s like to play without the team’s top scorer, but Booker should have played in the games regardless. Askia gave everything he had to the University of Colorado, but his last game shouldn’t have been a conference tournament loss – but that’s just me.
Colorado would end up losing to Seattle University in the quarterfinal round of the CBI Tournament, 72-65. The fact that they lost doesn’t bug me much, considering the season was already a lost cause, but losing to a WAC team is unacceptable – especially when your team resides in a powerhouse conference such as the Pac-12.
Second topic of discussion is that Colorado had to depend on a streaky Askia Booker to lead them back to the NCAA Tournament. Don’t get me wrong, Askia is a good player, but having him as your primary scoring option leads to only trouble. He is one to shoot you into a game, or shoot you out of one.
Josh Scott on the other hand dealt with a lot, and I mean a lot double teams this season. With Dinwiddie gone, Colorado’s only other threat to shoot the ball with confidence was Booker, who mentioned above, is as streaky as they come. Colorado will need to improve in the shooting department next season in order to contend in the rigid Pac-12.
Colorado did land a transfer via Providence prior to the 2014 season in Josh Fortune. Fortune sat out the entire season due to NCAA rule, but should be an important part of Colorado’s game-plan next season. Fortune averaged 8.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 33 minutes of action for the Friars during the 2013-’14 season.
Colorado’s team next season will look awfully familiar, considering the team will only lose one starter in Askia Booker. The other two seniors that will be graduating are guards Geoffrey Bates and Kevin Nelson. Players such as Xavier Johnson, Wesley Gordon, Josh Scott, Dominique Collier, and Xavier Talton will have their work cut out for them next season to make the Buffs a contender in the Pac-12.