3. Colorado (13-2, LW: On the cusp) -- Askia Booker scored a season-high 27 points in Colorado's 100-91 win over Oregon on Sunday. The Buffaloes' only losses are to Baylor and Oklahoma State.
Oregon and Colorado are on the brink of cracking into that top five because of how competitive each team is under Dana Altman and Tad Boyle, respectively. It so happens that because of the Pac-12′s unbalanced scheduling, due to the addition of Colorado and Utah in 2011, that Arizona only plays its top two rivals once this season. That’s a shame, especially in the case of the Wildcats and Bruins, the standard-bearers of the conference who are the only Pac-12 programs to win a national title in the last 20 years.
Colorado has to be mentioned in that subject now and Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State are going to get a lot of respect. The Buffs returned a bunch of players from last season, but none better than Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie. However, Josh Scott and others have been impressive as well.
HOW THE BUFFALOES WON: The Pac-12 is going to be fun this season. There are a handful of really talented, well-coached teams in this league, and two were on display Sunday evening. Tad Boyle's Colorado squad handed No. 9 Oregon its first loss, 100-91, in Boulder. UPSET: San Diego State wins at Kansas The teams went toe-to-toe much of the game — one that featured 10 lead changes — before Colorado's Jaron Hopkins made a three and gave the Buffaloes a two-point lead with 9:37 to play. Colorado never trailed again, as Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker essentially took over.
"The thing I like about Josh, last year, sometimes he'd make mistakes and he'd make excuses or he'd maybe point the finger. This year, there's none of that. For your sophomore big guy to play like that and to take ownership in the way he's playing, both good and bad, is terrific."
Colorado - The Buffaloes grabbed the biggest win of the infantile Pac-12 season by giving Oregon their first loss of the season and defended their home court very well - something that will be essential in the conference this season. They also showed that they can score a ton of points if they need to against a good team, dropping 100 on the Ducks. Askia Booker & Spencer Dinwiddie - The Buffaloes made an early statement for having the best backcourt in the conference this season with the two combining for 50 points against Oregon. The two showed an uncanny ability to get to the line and convert, going 29-33 from the line for the past week.
24th pick: Spencer Dinwiddie, shooting guard, Colorado Buffaloes. Dinwiddie doesn't have elite athletic measurables, but he makes up for it with something every shooter covets--one of the best mid-range games in college basketball. He excells at a deceptive first step and quick drive to the rim that gets him to the foul line and makes him a difficult cover for any Pac-12 team.
Player of the week: Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado No single player really stood out, so I'm giving the award to Colorado's point guard, for scoring 23 and dishing out 7 assists and generally leading the most impressive offensive assault of the first week. Oregon might not have an elite defense, but scoring 1.28 points/possession on them is still a damned impressive showing, and Dinwiddie is the biggest reason.
"It's very fun," Booker said of his performance in recent weeks. "Coach has been telling me to just stay aggressive. He doesn't want me to change up anything that I've been doing, because I do work on my game and I think it's starting to show really big. I have the ultimate confidence in myself lately. When the shot's falling, it makes the game a little easier on myself and my teammates, because they don't have to do as much."
Allen: "At the moment it’s hard to pick anyone other than Colorado’s Askia Booker, who won the Pac-12 Player of the Week award Monday. That was a big-time performance in a big game, in which he scored a career-high 27 points."
Judging by their stats, you’d expect the Buffaloes to be in the middle of the Pac, maybe average at best. Scoring offense? Fifth, at 78.1 points per game. Scoring defense? Sixth, at 67.7 points per game. Scoring margin is middling (fifth) free-throw percentage is mediocre (sixth), field goal percentage is substandard (eighth) and three-point field-goal percentage is worse (10th).
Playing at 5,345 feet of altitude and with an average of 9,489 fans packing the Coors Events Center, the Buffs are nearly unbeatable in Boulder. They are 10-0 this season at home and 55-7 since coach Tad Boyle took over the program four years ago. The one problem with the nearly 10,000 people who show up to watch the Buffaloes is that the Buffs can't take them on the road.
Richardson is not big as receivers go. He is listed at being 6010 – 170. He has a long, lean frame, but he is quick, fast, and athletic. In high school, he ran a verified 10.62 100 meters. Richardson gets off the line quickly and is a good route runner. In the tapes I saw, he seldom faced press coverage as opponents were concerned with his deep speed. When he did face press, he was a bit inconsistent getting off a jam. He has the athleticism to avoid a jam, but once a big corner gets his hands on him, he can be rerouted.