Pac-12 coaches must think Tyler Bey is the best player in Colorado Buffaloes history, because that’s the only reason I can think as to why the Buffs were picked 7th in the Pac-12 preseason poll.
The Buffs lose the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, but they are returning major players such as McKinley Wright IV, D’Shawn Schwartz and Evan Battey, plus will be welcoming in Tulsa transfer Jeriah Horne and a litany of talented freshmen. CU also lost Shane Gatling and Lucas Siewert, but no disrespect to them, they are not irreplaceable players.
Wright, it shouldn’t be forgotten, is a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 recipient, and is far and away this team’s best and most important player. Even if CU wasn’t returning three proven starters in addition, picking senior McKinley Wright seventh place is disrespectful.
This doesn’t even include the young ones coming up, namely Keeshawn Barthelemy and Nique Clifford at guard. Combined with Eli Parquet further developing, this could mean better production and better depth on the perimeter than the Buffs have had in years. Then at forward, Schwartz, Battey and Horne is a great start even if they don’t replicate Bey’s defense and rebounding.
It’s almost like Pac-12 coaches forgot this team was on its way to a conference title before their mental collapse at the end of the season.
The Pac-12 preseason poll goes as follows:
- UCLA Bruins (9 first-place votes)
- Arizona State Sun Devils (5)
- Oregon Ducks (7)
- Stanford Cardinal (1)
- Arizona Wildcats
- USC Trojans (1)
- Colorado Buffaloes
- Utah Utes
- Washington Huskies
- California Golden Bears
- Washington State Cougars
- Oregon State Beavers
Not to get too into it, but you cannot tell me that Arizona State is a better team that the Buffs. Sure, they have Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge, and bring in five-star freshman Josh Christopher. They’re a good team, but man, Remy Martin sure is overrated and that’s a lot of stock invested in three electric scorers who are all prone to cold streaks. (CU swept them last year, with the departed Romello White causing the most issues for the Buffs.)
I would also like to contest USC being ahead of the Buffs. They lost three seniors from a year, plus Onyeka Okongwu. I realize this team is very talented and will have top recruit Evan Mobley, but they return just one starter and it’s not like Andy Enfield is known for fulfilling expectations. (CU swept them too, including an 19-point win at USC.)