The Colorado Buffaloes played a very strong first game tonight as they were able to take down the Wofford Terriers 74-59 with ease. The game wasn't really close at all and for their first game, the Buffaloes looked very sound offensively and defensively. There were some issues, but I don't think anyone expected Colorado to come out here and play perfectly. For the Buffs, Josh Scott led the way with 14 points and Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie each added 13 points. Scott went a very impressive 10-11 from the free throw line. If he can hit free throws like that all season long, he could become dominant very quickly for the Buffs. Dinwiddie and Booker look like they're picking up right where they left off last year controlling transition play and also doing a very good job of getting and making open shots.
Things the Buffaloes did well: Offensively, it's hard to point out what the Buffaloes didn't do well. The post play of Josh Scott was patient and skilled. When he got it in the post, he made a move and if it wasn't there he kicked it back out. Shane Harris-Tunks seems to have added a nice drop step to his game, which he can now use when the hook isn't there. Andre Roberson didn't do much on offense, but Wofford keyed on him all game, making it easy for other players to score. He also is still very good defensively and has great timing for blocking shots and can still rebound very well, which shouldn't be a shock to anyone. Sabatino Chen has improved and proved skeptics wrong as he played a great game cutting into the lane at the right times and facilitating as well adding 9 points. Defensively, Chen put some intense full-court ball pressure on Wofford to start off the second half and that threw them off helping Colorado end the game early. The best thing about Chen's ball pressure was that he wasn't going for steals unless they were easy to get. The worst thing you can do as a defender is gamble and there was none of that by Chen.
I like what Xavier Johnson brought to the table tonight. He didn't excel at any part of the game, but he had the occasional possession attacking the basket and also had a couple of nice rebounds and played good defense for most of the night. As the season goes on, he could stay in the sixth-man role and it might be the best fit for him, similar to Askia Booker last year. The Buffs had one play in the first half where they did a pick and roll with Johnson and Roberson and the possession ended up with a score. If the Buffs can start to have success with that, that'll be a very hard play for opponents to stop. Defensively, everything looked good. Sometimes players were late on help defense, but it's very hard to play perfect man defense all game without a slip up. Furthermore, Colorado looks like they should be a great defensive team once again this year.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with: Throughout the game, the Buffs struggled with getting through off-ball screens that Wofford ran for their shooters. At times, they would lose their man or not give a gap for the defensive player to get through and go the wrong way on the screen. Ultimately, this is an issue that needs practice to fix. You can only prepare for this so much without having actual games under your belt, and it shouldn't be a continuing issue as the season goes along. Besides that, the Buffs really played a great game. They didn't play down to Wofford's level and ended the game early in the second half.
Up Next: The Buffs will take on the Dayton Flyers in the Charleston Classic in Charleston on Thursday, November 15th at 10:30 a.m. MT. We'll have more to come on them later in the week, but Dayton was an NIT team last year and will not be as easy of an opponent as Wofford. However, Boyle and his team have almost a week to prepare for Dayton and should come out ready to play.