The Colorado Buffaloes alumni team, Team Colorado, is back in The Tournament. The TBT, which starts in July, is a single-elimination tournament with a $2 million grand prize. Team Colorado has been in the competition the past two seasons and was the runner-up in 2016. They return virtually everyone from last summer’s team and they’re bringing in Buffs legends such as Josh Scott and former NBA players like Chris Copeland. Many people consider Team Colorado as the unquestioned favorite in the 2017 TBT and with great reason.
Dominique Coleman, who played at CU from 2005 to 2007, has played point guard for Team Colorado the past two summers and returns for another go. TBT’s podcast had him on the show on Monday to discuss Team Colorado in previous tournaments, key additions to the 2017 squad, and CU basketball in general. The full podcast is available on SoundCloud (TBT Poscast Ep. 77) and can be accessed here. I’ll highlight below my favorite parts of the podcast.
Coleman talked at length about one of the biggest additions to Team Colorado, Xavier Silas, a gifted scorer and experienced TBT player who played two seasons with CU (2006-08) before transferring to Northern Illinois, where he starred. Silas spent the past two summers playing with City of Gods, a powerhouse TBT team that’s always in the Final Four. Coleman joked that Silas switched sides because the decision was “Best friends vs. family”, and you can never not pick family. Coleman said Silas will bring some extra scoring bunch and will replace Levi Knutson as the team’s best shooter.
Coleman was asked about the biggest weaknesses of last summer’s team, and though he initially struggled to answer the question, he eventually said the team needs to “fill in the holes ... these [additions] are the pieces we really need.” It seemed to me that Team Colorado struggled with turnovers and offensive inconsistency -- sometimes staples of Colorado basketball — but Silas and Scott should definitely ease those struggles and then some. Richard Roby being healthy this time around will also help.
Coleman also spoke about why he chose the Colorado Buffaloes to play for, and he mostly cited his longtime friendships with Marcus Hall, Roby and Copeland (all of whom are on Team Colorado) and the familial culture of CU basketball. Team Colorado’s success has always been predicated on team basketball and a never say die attitude, and that stems from that same familial culture that’s carried over from Ricardo Patton to Jeff Bzdelik to Tad Boyle.
Assuming the camaraderie continues, the key additions fill in the holes, Marcus Hall continues to play like a transcendent hero, and everyone stays healthy, Team Colorado could (should?) be a dominant team when TBT starts in July.