Tad Boyle and the Colorado Buffaloes had another great tournament performance in the Charleston Classic, finishing it off with a 81-74 victory over Murray State. In the Charleston Classic, the Buffaloes beat three very good teams in the Dayton Flyers, Baylor Bears, and Murray State Racers. Once again, Askia Booker led Colorado in scoring with 23 points. Throughout the tournament, Booker was always there to hit the big shot and provided Colorado with some much needed scoring. Andre Roberson added 16 points while Josh Scott put in 13 points. As a team, the Buffaloes improved their free throw shooting tonight going 27-36 from the line, helping them to a victory. The Charleston Classic was just another opportunity for Tad Boyle and Colorado to continue to prove doubters wrong and that's exactly what they did.
Things the Buffaloes did well:
Colorado's defense was impressive throughout the entire tournament and was a major factor tonight as well. Murray State shot 45% from the field and 38% from three, but they had to work for all their shots. The Buffaloes' ability to defend Isaiah Canaan on screens was outstanding as well. Josh Scott and Andre Roberson did a very good job of showing and then recovering quickly enough so Murray State could not take advantage. Canaan hit some tough contested threes in the first half, but other than that, he was kept in check. Spencer Dinwiddie guarded Canaan for the game, and he managed to keep him quiet while putting up 14 points. He only made one field goal, but went 11-12 from the line, which helped the Buffs close the game out. On offense, no one stood out more than Askia Booker. Booker seems to always be there hitting the right shots at the right time. He almost never takes a shot off balance and uses the step back and pull-up very well to make sure he's on balance shooting. The backcourt of Dinwiddie and Booker has the potential to be one of the best in the nation if they keep playing like this. In the post, Josh Scott had another great game. His patience in the post is just so consistent and impressive. He doesn't rush it and if it's not there, he doesn't force it. Lastly, the play of Jeremy Adams and Xavier Johnson was important tonight. The Buffaloes' starting lineup accounted for 72 of the 81 total points, but when Josh Scott and Andre Roberson got into foul trouble, Adams and Johnson were there to bring good on-ball defense and although they only had 7 points combined, the points came at the right times. When the Buffaloes get into foul trouble this year, Adams and Johnson will need to step up like they did tonight.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with:
The Buffaloes turned it over 17 times and allowed Murray State 12 offensive rebounds, which is uncharacteristic, but besides that, they didn't struggle too much.
The Buffaloes play Air Force on Sunday, November 25th, at 6 p.m. at the Coors Event Center. The Buffaloes should win easily and use their week off to improve. However, as far as the Charleston Classic goes, that was an impressive performance from the Buffs. They showed they are going to be a very good team this year, beating three teams in four days and an argument can be made that all of their opponents will make the NCAA Tournament. Spencer Dinwiddie shut down Kevin Dillard, Pierre Jackson, and Isaiah Canaan, and still managed to have a good offensive tournament. Josh Scott showed that he will have no problem transitioning to college play as he was a factor in every game. Ultimately, this is all in part because of Tad Boyle. What he has done since his arrival in Boulder has been unexpected to say the least. As long as Boyle is here, Colorado will be a force in March year in and year out.