The Buffs first outing of the season was nothing short of impressive. With a dominant defensive first half and an offensive explosion in the second, we have already seen Colorado’s talent on both sides of the ball. But what does the rest of the season hold?
Although Colorado has brought in an incredibly talented freshman and transfer class, players like Tristan Da Silva and KJ Simpson are still dominating the team. In the first win against Towson, Simpson docked 22 points while Da Silva had 13. Simpson looks stronger than ever and was very efficient in his season debut. Da Silva was slow to start, but he figured it out as the game went on. Both players will have to assert themselves as the season goes, particularly da Silva who has the tendency to go quiet when the offense doesn’t flow towards him.
Experience has proven to be key in success for the Buffs. With TCU transfer Eddie Lampkin Jr. working back to full health after an injury, Colorado will have one more weapon with lots of college experience. He’s a physical presence that the Buffs have been lacking since Evan Battey graduated. Tad Boyle plans to use him as a screener and high-post playmaker. He will play much more once he’s fully healthy.
If Lampkin doesn’t start, it’s because the combination of J’Vonne Hadley and Luke O’Brien prove to be menacing on the defensive end. Those two were flying around the court against Towson — Hadley with his smart defensive rotations and LOB with his non-stop energy. Both offer all kinds of versatility on offense and really open things up for players like Simpson, da Silva and Cody Williams.
Williams was quiet in his debut. He’s a bit raw and is clearly figuring some things, but the potential is obvious. Even if the points weren’t there, he still made winning plays, had a couple blocked shots, and was able to push the ball in transition. Once he figures out when and where to take his shots, the offense will flow a bit better than it did. He’s such a smart player that he’s going to make a huge impact sooner or later.
The last takeaway from the game is that the Buffs are clearly going through some growing pains as they implement this new five-out offense. They’re figuring out where to cut, where to call for the ball, and which shots they want early in their possessions. The shots won’t always fall, but they’re there, and the defense should be good enough to get these wins, at least in the non-conference schedule.
It all looks promising for the Buffs. Between star-studded returners, critical transfers and dominant freshman, Tad Boye has an arsenal of players he can rely on. With the ability to pick and choose the best lineup possible, and change shape depending on the opponent, success is looking like a likely outcome for Boyle and his Buffs.