Bryce Peters is destined to be a fan favorite in Boulder.
A free-spirit with a flamboyant hair cut and an infectious smile, Peters has fit in well as a student-athlete during his first few months at the University of Colorado.
“I love it here. It is different from Cali,” said Peters, who was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. “There are a lot of things going on and the people are cool. They really enjoy each other's company.”
Peters gets around campus on a skateboard, after deciding to leave his hoverboard back home in California. If you happen to run into Bryce around town, be prepared to talk. Ask him about his desire to be an Architect some day.
“I am an outgoing guy,” Peters said. “I will be the first to start a conversation with anybody.”
And, oh yeah, he is pretty talented on the basketball court.
“Bryce Peters is just an ole' fashioned baller. He just balls,” Buffs head coach Tad Boyle said earlier this week. “He has done some nice things.”
During his prep career, Peters set school records for single-game scoring with 44 points, three-pointers in a home game with 11, and most free-throws made in one game while hitting a perfect 19-of-19 from the line. But he takes most pride in his ability on the other end of the court.
“I was always told when I was younger that I can't play college ball unless I can guard my position,” he said. “And if you stop somebody and they can't score, they can't win. So defense wins games in my eyes.”
Music to ears of his new head coach, who struggles to go more than a few minutes without saying the words “defense and rebounding.”
“During my summer years in AAU, [Tad Boyle] liked my defensive tenacity,” Peters recalled. “On my visit [to Colorado], the first thing I asked him was, 'Where do you see me defensively?' Because I think I can help this team tremendously on the defensive end.”
As confident as Peters is in his ability, he is rightfully taking a backseat to the upperclassmen on the Buffaloes' 2016-17 roster.
“I know I am a freshman and I know we have four seniors. And I know they are going to be shining this year. But just wherever I can help, I will,” he said. “I am just learning from veterans like Xavier Johnson. But so far it has been good.”
Peters said adjusting to the altitude and the increased speed of the college game was a tough adjustment at first, as was the increased physicality on the court.
“When I first got here in the summer, I was getting thrown around all over the place,” he admitted. “But I have been working with Steve [Englehart], our strength and conditioning coach, and I have been learning to take the contact.”
Peters is a combo guard, and his attitude and talent certainly appears to be a winning combination.