CU Men's Basketball Primer: Predictions

Today is the day. When November truly becomes so, when that keg you’ve been waiting to tap can finally be shared amongst your friends. When you have a built in excuse to spend at least one night a week at the Dark Horse, when you finally get to hear the greatest sound in all of sports.

Basketball is back.

Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve tried to pry your loving eyes away from the very deserving football program and get you ready for hoops season to get underway. The truth is, this is a love triangle anyone can understand. There’s plenty of space in your heart for both of these proud programs, and for the next month, you’ll have to let your significant other know it is time to clear the calendar, Novembers are for Boulder.

The fourth and final installment of the Colorado basketball preseason preview will be short and sweet, unlike the previous three segments breaking down the schedule, the roster, and the rest of the Pac-12 Conference. For those of you late to the party, let’s catch you up, here are your links:

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the 2016-17 hoops predictions.

Pac-12 Conference Final Standings:

1. Oregon (15-3)

2. Arizona (13-5)

3. UCLA (11-7)

4. Colorado (11-7)

5. California (10-8)

6. USC Trojans (9-9)

7. Washington Huskies (9-9)

8. Utah Utes (8-10)

9. Arizona State Sun Devils (7-11)

10. Oregon State Beavers (6-12)

11. Stanford Cardinal (6-12)

12. Washington State (3-13)

NCAA Tournament berths: Oregon (2), Arizona (5), UCLA (7), Colorado (8), California (11)
NIT berths: USC, California

Pac-12 All Conference 1st Team

G Jordan McLaughlin, USC

G Allonzo Trier, Arizona

G Markelle Fultz, Washington (Newcomer of the Year)

F Dillon Brooks, Oregon (Conference Player of the Year)

F Ivan Rabb, California

Pac-12 All Conference 2nd Team

G Bryce Alford, UCLA

G Lonzo Ball, UCLA

F Bennie Boatwright, USC

F Kyle Kuzma, Utah

C Chris Boucher, Oregon (Defensive Player of the Year)

Colorado Buffaloes Bold Predictions

* Thomas Akyazili will shoot 37% from 3PT range this season

* Dom Collier will average 4+ assists per game

* George King leads the team in scoring, with 15.8ppg

* The Buffs will win 6 or more road games this season

To summarize and tie up some loose ends, I am honestly a little bit nervous that I am a bit too high on this year’s version of the Buffs. I need to see some dramatic improvement defensively before I really start to feel confident, but Tad Boyle has always found a way to make the Buffs at least serviceable defensively. George King and Derrick White must prove that they can lead this basketball team, especially down the stretch, and not be afraid to take over basketball games. You never quite know how a team will match-up until you get them out onto the court, so we will know a ton about this team within a few weeks of the regular season. I feel comfortable suggesting this team will win somewhere between 20 and 22 basketball games, I’ve chosen to hang my hat on the optimistic end of the spectrum. Yes, it remains possible that this ball club isn’t an NCAA Tournament team, but I’d be surprised by those results. Seemingly, this program always hovers somewhere around the bubble, and February and March are filled with tension, and we can probably expect that to happen yet again this season. Strap in folks, there’s a strong possibility this will be the most successful year in Colorado Buffaloes history.

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