Two starters have stepped up for CU

Since Spencer Dinwiddie's departure due to injury from the Colorado men's basketball team, the Buffaloes have seen more, consistent production from two key starters: sophomore forward Josh Scott and junior guard Askia Booker.

Since Spencer Dinwiddie's departure due to injury from the Colorado men's basketball team, the Buffaloes have seen more, consistent production from two key starters: sophomore forward Josh Scott and junior guard Askia Booker.

Throughout the entire 2013-14 season, Scott has proven to be a powerful force for the Buffaloes time and time again. Offensively and defensively, he can be virtually unstoppable in many of the games this year.

In the team's outing at Arizona, Scott picked up his ninth double-double of the season and the 11th of his career. During Thursday's visit to Tucson, he scored 15 of Colorado's 57 points and grabbed 11 of their 32 rebounds.

Throughout the first 21 games of his sophomore season, he averaged 14.1 points per game and 9.1 rebounds per game. Additionally, he had scored in double digits in all but two games.

Prior to Dinwiddie's injury, Scott was one of Colorado's top players on both sides of the court. But now, with Dinwiddie out for the rest of the season, Scott may soon become the best player on the Buffaloes' roster.

Booker, on the other hand, is mainly an offensive threat for CU, thought he is somewhat inconsistent. Although he can be a strong scorer most of the time, his rebounding game is not nearly as strong as Scott's.

In 21 games, Booker averaged 13.2 ppg but only grabbed 3.0 boards per game. He did, however, score in double-digits in 17 games.

But Booker does not keep up with his scoring consistently. At the beginning of January, Booker scored 27 points to help the Buffs power past the No. 10 Oregon Ducks at home. A week later at Washington, he didn't score at all.

Since conference play started, Booker and Scott have stepped up their game even more.

Over eight games, Scott has averaged 15.9 ppg and 8.9 rpg. He has scored in double digits for all eight of those games. Ski Booker was right behind him with 14.1 ppg and 3.75 rpg, and he has scored in double digits in all but one game, when he didn't score at all.

When Scott and Booker are both on their A game, the Buffs are guaranteed to have at least one efficient player in both their frontcourt and backcourt. The problem remains, however, in the consistency of all the other players.

While the Buffaloes boast three more talented players in the rest of their starters, Xavier Johnson, Jaron Hopkins, and Wesley Gordon have not been as efficient in conference play.

Johnson has had several big games in the Pac-12--scoring 21 at Arizona, 15 against Oregon, and 14 at Washington State--he is not nearly as consistent as Scott and Booker. Aside from these three, Gordon and Hopkins have not been producing as much on offense as much as they used to.

On defense, Scott and Gordon have been the bigger threats. At 6'10" and 6'9" respectively, rebounding seems to come easy for the two forwards. In Pac-12 play, Gordon is averaging 6.75 rebounds per game and 5.9 overall. Together, the two grab 15.65 of Colorado's 36 in the Pac-12 games and 15 of the team's 38 overall.

With 10 games left in regular season conference play, the Buffs will need to see more production from all five starters as well as their bench if they hope to regain the success that they saw at the beginning of the season.

Next up for the Buffaloes is a home game against the Utah Utes on Saturday, Feb. 1 at noon.


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