First Impressions

Ricardo Patton's Colorado Buffaloes easily beat the University of Vancouver 75-51 Sunday afternoon in an exhibition game. It was the first time fans at home got to see new CU point guard Dominique Coleman. Inside, some thoughts on Coleman, the offense and an issue Colorado will have to address in order to be successful this season.

Coleman at the Point
This is the first season Dominique Coleman, the junior juco transfer, has ever played point guard, and he looked like he was focusing on getting the offense going and getting his teammates involved early in the game. As the afternoon wore on he started looking for his own shot more.

What was apparent is that he moves very well, very quick. He's a good ballhandler and pretty good passer for a guy who's played shooting guard his whole life. He's got some flash to his game, can take players off the dribble and looks good in the open court. His 3-point shot is OK, but he won't lead the Buffs in treys. Decent on-ball defender.

Ricardo Patton seems to have confidence in him as he led the team in minutes played with 27.

Overall, he looks like he'll be a significant upgrade at the point position.

The other newcomer is freshman forward Calvin Williams. He's long and athletic, can really run, but he's a bit green basketball wise.

The offense looked better in an exhibition game than it has in a long time. Guys were moving the ball, and moving without the ball. Lots of motion, players got into the set plays, and free-styled out of them, pretty well.

Colorado only led by two points at the half over an obviously overmatched team. But basketball is such a rhythm game, and Victoria had played nine games in the past three weeks, while this was CU's first game since the three-game trek in early September.

Victoria is a pretty disciplined bunch and was down by four at BYU and two at Weber State before getting blown out in the second half. That's what CU did, too.

Freeman and Arrington Improved
Swing Martane Freeman and center Lamont Arrington are better players than they were six months ago. Freeman looks like he's out of the doghouse, where he seemed to play most of last year. Once he gets some more confidence shooting the ball, he'll be fine. He was real aggressive on defense and decisive in the offensive flow.

Arrington is noticeably bigger and stronger. He's not ready to light the Big 12 on fire, but if they can get eight to 12 good minutes out of him a night, it'll be an improvement.

Rebounding Will Be an Issue
Patton went with a small-ball lineup of Coleman, Jayson Obazuaye, Richard Roby, Andy Osborn and Chris Copeland to start.

The biggest reason Victoria could hang with Colorado in the first half was because CU wasn't hitting the boards – especially the offensive boards (they had just three before the break).

Rebounding is going to be an issue night in and night out for this squad, at least until Julius Ashby gets back in late December. The problem Sunday was no one was hitting the glass until sophomore Marcus King-Stockton came in the game.

Chris Copeland and Andy Osborn have nice strokes from the perimeter, but unless one or both of them dedicate themselves to getting aggressive at rebounding, CU will have problems. I wouldn't be surprised to see King-Stockton (who has good shooting mechanics, and who can knock down the 15-17 footer) push for lots of playing time if he stays consistent hitting the boards.

Roby got hot from the outside midway through the second half and ended up leading the Buffs with 15 points. Copeland (14), Osborn (11) and Coleman (10) hit double-digits as well. King Stockton led CU with 12 boards. …Colorado is now 17-1 in exhibition games under Patton. …CU is putting more effort into marketing the basketball teams than they have in years past. But they may have left the exhibition games out of the marketing plan. Sunday's attendance of 830 was the lowest attendance at a men's game in Patton's tenure, going back to 1996. ...CU hosts Regis University on Saturday at 7 p.m. the team's final tune up of the exhibition season. The Buffaloes host UNC Wilmington, Nov. 18 (8:30 p.m.) at the Events Center.