Hopkins has been CU's sixth man, contributing 5.4 points per game as the first player off the bench. He's now thrust into a starting role as the No. 21 Buffs (14-3, 3-1 Pac-12) try to overcome the absence of Dinwiddie's 14.7-point scoring average and, perhaps just as important, the loss of the junior's leadership and court savvy.
Boyle doesn’t have a problem with plugging in players wherever they’re needed: "We don’t get caught up in positions . . . can they pass, dribble, shoot, rebound?" Hopkins, he said, "can do all those things" – and he expects no less from the others.
"You can't expect us to mesh right away, but we're trying. The leadership on this team has to pick up from some other players, including myself. Hopefully Josh (Scott) and Xavier Johnson and Wesley (Gordon) can pick up some of the leadership and we can all step our game up."
"It's the message," sophomore forward Josh Scott said. "There's no excuse and anybody that does have an excuse, frankly I hope they don't play. We're out here to compete and play our hardest and give it our all. That's all we can ask. No excuse."
Week To Forget (Tie): Oregon (13-2, 1-3 Pac-12, RPI rank: 14, SOS rank: 23) and Colorado (14-3, 3-1 Pac-12, RPI rank: 9, SOS rank: 10) The Ducks and Buffaloes earn a tie for this demerit for differing reasons. In Oregon's case, it's because they are struggling in Pac-12 play. In fact, if Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson hadn't stolen a game from Utah in the dying seconds of overtime in Salt Lake City, it's likely Oregon would be 0-4 in the conference right now. As for the Buffaloes, their situation is more serious, as leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie tore his left ACL in Sunday's loss at Washington. That's a devastating blow to the Buffaloes' March hopes.
Without Dinwiddie, the Buffs are highly unlikely to earn a top-four seed. Unless Colorado can conjure up some sort of Ewing theory-type energy to fuel an unlikely run into Pac-12 contention, the Buffs are going to lose more games without Dinwiddie over the next two months than they might have otherwise.
11. Colorado (4-8, 1-8): There wasn't anywhere to go but up for Colorado after going 1-11 in 2012, and the Buffaloes went up this past season under first-year coach Mike MacIntyre. They were still mostly outclassed in Pac-12 play, but there were signs of taking a step forward. The question now becomes, can they move up in the South Division?
Competitive balance has defined the Pac-12 South since the conference's expansion in 2011. The division's had three teams end the regular season with the best record in as many years: USC in 2011, UCLA in 2012 and Arizona State last season...
Still, the Recruiting Class of 2014 is mostly settled, which means the Buff roster for the 2014 season is, for the most part, a known quantity. As a result, we are now in position to review how the eligibility chart will look come September. Last week, we looked at the offensive units.
- What Spencer Dinwiddie's Season-Ending Injury Means For Colorado
- The hits keep coming: Tre'Shaun Fletcher out 6-8 weeks with a knee injury
- Buff Bites: Where the Buffaloes go from here
- Spencer Dinwiddie has a torn ACL, out for season
- Buffaloes fall in the rankings after loss to Washington, Dinwiddie injury