Not to worry, everybody...basketball season is underway, and the Buffs are off to a great start. We are 3-0 and play Murray State, an Elite Eight team from last year, tomorrow night on ESPN in the championship of the Charleston Classic.
Before the season began, CU hosted its inaugural Buffs Madness. Based off of similar events at Kansas and Michigan State, the first official practice of the season was open to fans. There were player introductions, speeches from the coaches, and scrimmages with both the men's and women's teams. As one of the OG 50, a group of students sent to the Pac-12 tournament last year by the Athletic Department, I got to go on the court and greet the players as they ran out of the tunnel. The C-Unit, our student section, practiced some cheers, including a practice run of the Roller Coaster, which my friend, roommate, and fellow blogger Griffin and I created in high school and now facilitate at CU games. There were a fair amount of students at Buffs Madness, and I thought it was a success.
The season tipped off against Wofford College, Southern Conference champions a year ago and a recent participant in the NCAA tournament. The Buffs did not play very smoothly, and suffered from poor free throw shooting and early season rust. However, they came out with a relatively easy 74-59 win, and our highly regarded freshman class, ranked within the top 20 in the nation, looked excellent. Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson in particular were impressive, and along with junior Andre Roberson, a preseason first team all-Pac 12 pick, sophomores Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie have emerged as true team leaders. More importantly, the student section was filled to capacity, and students were actually turned away at the door. The Coors Event Center was in midseason form, and the C-Unit is primed to have a repeat of our top five ranking from a year ago.
Following Wofford, the Buffs traveled to South Carolina to play in the Charleston Classic. They knocked off Dayton in the opening game, and then upset #16 Baylor in the semifinals 60-58, avenging last season's loss in the NCAA tournament. Josh Scott played incredibly well, as did Booker, Dinwiddie, and Roberson, who led the team in scoring, defense, and rebounding. The Buffs shot 4-18 from the free throw line, had 14 turnovers, and suffered from bouts of inexperience, giving them plenty of room for improvement. However, it was a great win over a nationally recognized opponent. If the Buffs can beat the Murray State Racers tomorrow, there will be some serious hype surrounding the team. Either way, the season is off to a great start.
Until next time, go Buffs!