Colorado Will Wear You Out
Nobody has yet shot 40 percent against the 25th-ranked Colorado basketball team this year. That will happen, eventually. But against Pomona-Pitzer, Arizona State and San Diego, the identity of the 2019-20 Colorado Buffaloes couldn't be more obvious.
This is a big, strong team that's going to be really tough to score on, and really tough to make a comeback against.
It starts, ironically enough, on offense, with double-double machine Tyler Bey. His reliable scoring and excellent free-throw shooting give the Buffaloes a steady offensive base they can go to in any situation. It's like having a great offensive line in football -- things can only get so bad when you can get five yards a pop.
Bey functions that way for the Buffaloes. If you play him straight up, he'll have an advantage most nights. Double team him and now other things start shaking loose. What it means is, Colorado will always be able to slow it down and get a bucket.
So that's the key to the whole thing, but look at the rest of CU's team. The leading scorer is D'Shawn Schwartz, a wing who is listed at 6-foot-7, 226 pounds. The cherubic Evan Battey is 6-8, 264. Lucas Siewert is 6-10. Maddox Daniels comes off the bench at 6-6.
And all of these guys are old, mature players with grown-man bodies.
It was no coincidence that Colorado led the Pac-12 in rebounding last year. I expect that will be the case again this season.
Colorado may not be the most disruptive defensive team -- I don't know that we're going to see a whole bunch of blocked shots and steals -- but this is not the kind of group you want to find yourself trailing by 10 in the second half. They're going to keep you in front, keep you out of the lane, and keep you to one shot while they pound it into the paint on the other end.
It's the kind of team that can demoralize an opponent through sheer frustration.
And if the 3-point shooting (44 percent) holds up, this is probably the best team in the Pac-12.