The About Last Night series is a day after celebration of a significant Colorado win. Last night, the Buffs outworked the Washington Huskies and came away with the 81-66 victory.
Jack Barsch: That was the second most beautiful game the Buffs have played this year. Number one is Oregon. Vintage Tadball. Now, we have Washington. Both teams lacked star power, and Washington, quite frankly, is Jack Skellington without Halloween, but without Markelle Fultz. But, nonetheless, CU’s skeleton crew beat up on the Huskies, and got some big contributions from some unlikely cast members. What was your favorite part of the game?
Sam Metivier: Ah yes, the classic slopfest of yesteryear. There’s something beautiful about sloppy, chaotic basketball in which every player is running around like their lives depend on it. I loved to see Dom Collier and Bryce Peters look comfortable playing hectic defense and getting out on the break. If they’re able to play like that the rest of the season, Boyle is going to be tempted to move towards that play style for next season. I know you fell deeper in love with Collier in that game.
Jack Skellington: Yes, I did. Much like you said, there was frenetic energy in the Buffaloes last night, something that we have seen all too rarely this year. At the spearhead of this was Dom Collier. He was aggressive last night. ON OFFENSE AND DEFENSE! When that happens, there are precious few guards in the Pac-12 that can stop him. He was scoring inside and out, got his hands in passing lanes, and played some fantastic defense at the top of the zone. Oh and his passing. Oh lord his passing.
Sam: Oh my his passing. That pass right there had me swooning like I’ve never swooned before, and I’ve done a fair share of swooning in my life. On Collier, I’m curious about what type of player he can be moving forward. He isn’t the most athletic defender, nor the most natural scorer. But he can do everything on the court he needs to do, and his play style — intelligent perimeter defense, sweet shooting and savvy facilitation — makes everyone around him so much better.
Jack: Last night was a snapshot of what next year’s team will look like, minus the always sublime Derrick White and Josh Fortune. Also, Deleon Brown was hurt. But whatever, the point still stands. Dom and George King will be the main focal points on offense, as well as leaders with Tory Miller. When Dom is forced to step up and dictate the action, as he was last night, he’s great. So in his senior year, when he has more responsibility on his shoulders, I think he’ll take another step forward.
But he wasn’t even my favorite performer last night. There was a certain young man named Lucas Siewert that I’ve gushed about before. Once again, he started, and once again, he impressed me. Hustle, touch, and effort on both ends, exactly what I want to see from him.
Sammy Swooner: I was not expecting Siewert to play the way he did last night. He’s a limited player, but the skills he brings to the table are essential to a pace-and-space offense like the one CU will likely implement next season. With shooting as silky as his, all Siewert has do to is survive on the boards and on defense to be an invaluable contributor. When he’s on the floor playing the 4 of the 5, Colorado can run the floor, get easy shots at the rim and from three, the two most efficient shots in basketball.
Jack: I actually thought his rebounding was pretty darn good last night. he kept possessions alive. He’s also the perfect zone-busting big. He can catch at the high post, and then turn and face. From here, he can pass, shoot, or take the big guy off the drive, which breaks down the zone. He’s a versatile offensive weapon that will only get better with age. We have also done a disservice to Bryce Peters by going this far without mentioning his great energy last night. He attacks the rim mercilessly.
Sam: Bryce Peters has been incredible for about three weeks now. He’s flashed the potential to be Colorado’s best player next year if he keeps this up. Josh Fortune got banged up last night, which could force Peters into an even larger role, maybe even into a permanent starting spot. With Peters running up and down the floor and causing chaos, maybe Boyle will change the team’s play style as the season winds down.
Jack: This season set up before it started for a strong finish and that hasn’t changed, despite the eleven losses. CU ends with WSU at home, a road trip to the Oregon schools, and then three straight home games with Utah, Stanford, and Cal. CU can realistically win more than they lose in those six games, and potentially do more if they continue to lock down on D. Like you said, their identity, Boyle’s identity is finally starting to emerge. Defend, board, get easy buckets or to the foul line. Peters has added a shot of nasty that this team needed, and other names are really stepping up, like Tory Miller and Lucas Siewert. The youth movement has begun, and if Wesley Gordon and Xavier Johnson can adjust their roles to bring more energy on defense, this team could be deadly. “Could” being the key operator there.