Five games into the season, there's enough basketball content to analyze in order to create a power ranking of all the Colorado basketball players. I couldn't make a ranking with ascending numbers (I struggle with Word), so the lower a player is on the list, the higher ranked he is. If you disagree, feel free to yell at me in the comments. That's what the internet is for anyway.
The Walk-Ons (and Eli Stalzer)
- I have no idea what happened to Eli Stalzer
- Brett Brady is playing! After appearing for a minute in the Nebraska-Omaha game, he came off the bench against Air Force and hit a big three-pointer to shift momentum. With shots like that, Brady may earn himself more playing time.
Kenan Guzonjic is really struggling. He looks too slow, physically and mentally, to keep up with anyone on the court. Not only that, but he's been the least efficient offensive player on the team. We'll see if he improves as the season progresses, but it looks as though he'll have to fight for every minute he gets.
Tory Miller impressed everyone last season with tenacity on the boards and unparalleled hustle, but it's a different story this year. Miller is atrocious offensively right now and he has more fouls and turnovers than made shots. Also, he quite literally bit an Air Force player.
Tier Two Guards
Xavier Talton looks better than he did last year, but his offensive struggles will be hard to hide in Pac-12 play.
Dominique Collier has shown to be a quality game manager and spot-up shooter when on the court. The problem right now has been staying on the court. Besides the Iowa State game, Collier has been in foul trouble right from the get-go each game since. Combining that with his turnover woes, Collier has been disappointing this season. If you chalk it up to inexperience, improvement is certainly coming.
Thomas Akyazili is shooting well, making smart passes and keeping turnovers to a minimum. This early production from the young Belgian is at least a bit surprising considering his off-the-court adjustment stateside. He also has the best hair on the team, hands down.
Tier Two Starters
- Wesley Gordon came into the season with a realistic chance to be the Buffs second best player. With prolific shot-blocking and a Costco supply of Windex glass cleaner, he's looked terrific on the defensive end. The reason why Gordon only ranks No. 5 is because by he has the second worst offensive rating out of any major contributor on the team (he's only better than Miller). His post game looks better than that, so expect him to improve offensively.
- Tre`Shaun Fletcher, true to my (super stupid) preseason prediction, has shot the lights out each game. Using that same offensive rating, only Josh Scott has been a better offensive player. Considering he held his own against a Naismith contender in Iowa State's Georges Niang, Fletcher looks like he'll be a very dependable two-way starter this season.
Josh Fortune has struggled with foul trouble and turnovers this year, but the Providence transfer looks like a game changer. He's a trigger-happy shooter who is excellent from deep, a tenacious defender, a deft passer and he crashes the offensive boards like no other guard I can remember. Fortune is my favorite player to watch right now because of the natural aesthetic to his game. Everything he does on the court looks smooth. Whether he's driving into the lane, shooting over a defender or going up for a rebound (over-the-back fouls included), he appears as though he's gliding. If he mitigates his turnover problem, Fortune could be an unforgettable transfer, à la Carlon Brown.
I cannot explain George King. I have no idea how King became the most versatile scorer and best shooter on the team, or how he developed into a star. My best explanation is that he spent his entire redshirt season downing bottles of "Mike's Secret Stuff." Whatever happened, let's just bask in the weirdness of a player coming out of nowhere to become a great player.
- Josh Scott is up to Josh Scott things. By win shares, Scott has been CU's most valuable offensive player by a mile (he's almost twice as valuable as George King) and the most valuable defender by a smidgen (he just beats out Gordon). When healthy, Scott is about as consistent as a player you will ever find and right now he's playing better than all.