Colorado men's basketball utilized superior depth and an up-tempo style of play to wear down a game Drexel squad on opening night, 65-48.
"I told (Drexel head coach) Bruiser (Flint) before the game that I need to have my head examined, to try and open up with Drexel," said Colorado head coach Tad Boyle. "They're a real team, a tough, athletic, good rebounding team. I thought our guys really battled and competed."
Josh Scott turned in his usual outstanding performance, scoring 21 points and snagging 11 boards in 29 minutes. Scott scored in a variety of ways, both on the low block and facing the basket. Scott even knocked down a top-of-the-key three-pointer, the second of his career.
"All summer I've been working on my jump shot. I'm not going to shoot a lot of them, but if I'm open I have to shoot them," said Scott.
Wesley Gordon contributed an efficient nine points, and Xavier Talton added eight points, providing a calming influence as a primary ballhandler.
Drexel, who was competitive in non-conference matchups last season against both UCLA and Arizona, was led by Tavon Allen and Damion Lee, both of whom were allowed to wreak havoc along the CU perimeter in the first half. Lee, Allen, and Freddie Wilson knocked down a combined six three-pointers, accounting for 18 of Drexel's 29 first half points.
Boyle sat expected starters Askia Booker, Xavier Johnson, and Gordon to begin the game, the latter two for disciplinary reasons. The initial impact was positive, as Colorado didn't skip a beat, jumping to a 12-3 lead. But the Buffs' defense got lax on Allen, Wilson and Lee, who spearheaded a Drexel charge, closing the gap to within four at halftime.
After being outrebounded 20-19 in the first half, Colorado began the second half with a renewed intensity - not just on the glass, but on the defensive end of the floor in general. CU held Drexel to just 26.9 percent from the floor in the second half, while outrebounding the Dragons by 10.
Talton's performance, mixed with strong outings from Tre'Shaun Fletcher and Jaron Hopkins, made up for a rough night from Booker. Booker went 2-of-14 from the field for seven points. However, Boyle was quick to point out after the game that his senior guard notched three assists without committing a turnover.
"He's just trying too hard," said Boyle. "He's much better than he played tonight."
Colorado returns to the floor on Monday at 11 p.m., for a late-night meeting with Bruce Pearl's Auburn Tigers.
Freshman Tory Miller scored four points and grabbed three boards in his Colorado debut... Dominique Collier sat out Friday night's game due to disciplinary reasons. The freshman guard from Denver East will also miss Monday night's matchup with Auburn... Dustin Thomas led Colorado in assists, with four... The 48 points allowed marked the fewest points allowed in a season opener since the 1949-50 season.