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WBB: I'm liking the potential for next season

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by Buffnik, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Mar 20, 2009
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    Losing Lexy Kresl, Jasmine Sborov and Jen Reese. That's significant. They've all had very nice careers at CU.

    But the other side of that coin is that the Buffs get Arielle Roberson back while adding a Top 25 recruiting class. Next year's squad should be a lot more athletic.

    I really like a starting front court of Jamee Swan (Sr), Roberson (Sr) and Haley Smith (Jr). Alina Hartmann (So) looks like she'll be a good backup for Smith at the wing. With Beard-Fails (Jr), Correal (So) and Watts (Jr) there is depth to bang on the interior. Correal, in particular, I think is going to be a player.

    The back court is going to be the question. Likely starters if a true frosh doesn't take a spot are Lauren Huggins (Jr) at the 2 and Brecca Thomas (So) at the point. Both have been getting over 20 minutes a night. Huggins gives good size and can bury teams from behind the arc, but I wonder about her handle. Thomas is small (5'5") but really quick. She's an energizer bunny and seems to have a high basketball IQ, so we could see a big jump from her in her 2nd year. We need to.

    The incoming freshmen include two highly-regarded PG prospects in Alexis Robinson and Kennedy Leonard. They'll push for immediate playing time and possibly a starting role. The other freshmen are Makenzie Ellis and Monica Burich, who are both wings. Burich is more of a point forward type. Ellis could be a star from the jump.

    I see all the pieces for a talented and deep roster that could be special next season. My concern, though, is that college basketball is a guard's game. The success of next year will come down to whether the returning guards are able to handle larger roles and whether the incoming freshmen are as good as advertised as quickly as we need them to be. Also, Arielle coming back and being the All Pac-12 player she was is something that pretty much goes without saying as a huge key to the season.

    If it breaks the right way, there's every reason to believe that this team could make a jump the way that Oregon State did this season. The talent's higher and they'll also be a veteran group.
  2. goalline

    goalline Club Member Club Member

    Dec 4, 2013
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    I think those seniors are a big loss. I think next year may look similar to this year and they move up more the following year when those Frosh have some experience. I guess I don't see Roberson as being able to make up for all three, but I hope she proves me wrong.
  3. MarkW

    MarkW Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2012
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    This is basically my position as well. It seems that CU will be very young in the back court next season and thus may struggle to defend and not turn the ball over too much.

    At this time it looks like the candidates in the back court will be:

    Point - Brecca Thomas (so), Kennedy Leonard (fr)

    Two - Alina Hartmann (so), Alexis Robinson (fr)

    I don't see Haley Smith as a regular in the back court and the same with Lauren Huggins due to them being defensive liabilities v quick/athletic opponents.

    Also, as much as I sing the praises of Jamee, she is played out of position at the 5. She really is a 4. But with no real candidates to start in the low post it seems she will be stuck playing there again next season.

    Of course a healthy/happy Roberson would make a big difference, but who knows?

    So at this time, it would seem the starters will be:

    5. Swan
    4. Roberson
    3. Smith
    2 ?
    1 ?

    My best guess is that Kennedy Leonard will get a lot of PT, if not start, right away. She looks to be a dynamic player in some senses like Chucky. This isn't to say she'll average 7 rebounds a game. But she has some unique abilities.

    Robinson I think is being looked at as a 2 more than a point.

    The bottom line is that there could be some very talented individuals, but a young/inexperienced back court could make the season a bit rough, like this season.
  4. buffgal

    buffgal Club Member Club Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    Arielle can not replace the talent of Kresl, Reese and Sborov and nobody should expect her to do so. Arielle has a lot of talent if she can return healthy.

    Next season depends on how quickly the freshmen progress and, please, no more injuries.

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