Boyle gets support from bench

In Colorado's games against Baylor and Wyoming, Head Coach Tad Boyle's bench was virtually non-existent. Colorado only mustered 11 points from its reserves in those games, a loss and a win. CU got that help from the bench in a 94-70 win over Jackson State.

In Colorado's games against Baylor and Wyoming, Head Coach Tad Boyle's bench was virtually non-existent. Colorado only mustered 11 points from its reserves in those games, a loss and a win.

Boyle has expressed that he needs more production from his non-starters, and he got it Saturday morning in Colorado's 94-70 victory over Jackson State.

Xavier Talton, Dustin Thomas and George King all stood out as reserves against Jackson State. Talton only scored one point against Wyoming, but it was a crucial free throw late in the game. But he's generally struggled with inconsistent play thus far.

Coming into today's game, Tatlon had only scored three points in 33 minutes. He hadn't made a field goal yet, (0-5 from the field, 0-3 from three). That drastically changed Saturday.

Tatlon scored a career-high 13 points against Jackson State, and also chipped in three assists and a steal. He shot 5-6 from the field, including 3-4 from three. Most importantly, Tatlon played 25 minutes off the bench. Colorado needs Talton to play well off the bench, especially with his 3-point shooting. Talton will need to be more consistent, but he showed he's well on his way to being a solid reserve.

Thomas came into the game as Boyle's most consistent reserve, and he once again had a nice showing. Thomas also scored a career-high 13 points, and reeled in a personal best four rebounds in just 17 minutes. He shot 5-8 from the field, and also made a 3-pointer. Thomas averages 6.8 points per game off the bench in efficient fashion. He's shooting 55% from the field, and 60% from three. With Colorado's lack of depth amongst its bigs, expect Thomas to continue to be a regular contributor as a reserve.

King was the biggest surprise on Saturday. King got his first extended playing time, largely due to Xavier Johnson sitting out the game with an injury. Although King only scored two points and got a steal, he grabbed an astonishing seven rebounds in just 11 minutes. Boyle has described King as a strong rebounder for a wing, and the freshman lived up to his coach's praise on Saturday. Once Johnson returns, King's minutes will likely drop. But the freshman showed he can be a factor on the glass for Colorado.

Jaron Hopkins is normally a reserve, but because of Johnson sitting out today's game, Hopkins got the start. And he took advantage. Hopkins scored a career-high 12 points in 19 minutes, as well as grabbing three rebounds and dishing two assists. Hopkins also displayed his elite athleticism, throwing down two alley-oops, much to the crowd's pleasure. The start is a great confidence booster for the freshman, and with Johnson returning, Hopkins will give Boyle yet another threat off the bench.


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