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Why Askia Booker Is One Of The All-Time Great Buffs

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by Goose, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Over the last few years, CU has been privileged to see some special talents come through Boulder and wear the black & gold. Alec Burks set a school record for most points scored in a single season and was the 10th overall pick in the NBA Draft. Cory Higgins set an all-time career scoring record for the Buffs. Andre Roberson became perhaps the ultimate stat-stuffer in CU Men's History as the only player in CU Men's history to score 1,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds have 150 blocks, 150 steals and 100 assists in a career with the added bonus of being another first round pick in the NBA Draft. Spencer Dinwiddie was the Mayor of Boulder, scored over 1,000 points, and represented the USA in the 2013 USA Basketball Men's World University Games before going on to be a draft pick of the Detroit Pistons. Even Ben Mills left Colorado as the school's all time 3 point percentage leader.

    All of them were greats for the Buffs, and all of them have overshadowed Askia Booker during his time here in Colorado. But when it's all said and done, it appears that Ski is going to have left the biggest mark on the school's record books when he leaves Boulder. In fact, in the future when "All-Time Great Buffs" discussions come up, Booker should be in the conversation.

    Below you'll see some of my projections for where Ski will end up in Colorado's Record Books. There are a few disclaimers though. The first one is that all of this is just pure (unquantified) projection work. If Ski gets hurt, he obviously won't be able to put up these sort of numbers. If the Buffs end up losing quickly in the P12 tourney and any other post-season tourneys they have, these numbers will be harder to reach. There are just too many variables for me to give a 100% educated guess on this (for that, you'll have to ask @jgisland). So, for most of the projections, I just assumed that Ski would put up the same numbers this season as he did last year. Honestly, I think he'll have a better year than last, but it gives us something stable to work with.

    So with all of the disclaimers out of the way, let's check out Ski By The Numbers.

    29
    Where I'm Projecting Ski to Finish Among CU's All-Time Rebounding Totals.


    He's currently outside the top 30, but with another 131 rebounds this season, he'll finish with 474 rebounds for his career (note: this is a number you're going to want to remember). Not only would Ski finish 29th in school history, he would finish 5th all-time for guards. When you consider the fact that Ski is generously listed at 6'2" and he'll be on the list behind only Richard Roby (6'6"), Donnie Boyce (6'5"), Cory Higgins (6'5") and Michel Morandais (6'5"), it's that much more impressive.
    9
    Where I'm Projecting Ski to Finish Among CU's All-Time Assist Totals.


    Ski is currently 18th in school history with 236 assists and last year's total of 116 assists was tied for 21st all time in school history for a single season. He needs 174 assists to move in to the top five all-time - something that could be possible. He would have to average around 5 assists a game (and CU would need a decent Pac-12 tourney run as well as a few games in the big dance), but it's within striking distance. A more realistic goal is Steve Wise who is sitting at 8th in school history with 377 assists. Just over 4 a game will get him past Wise. Unfortunately, there's a pretty big gap between Wise at 8 and Nate Tomlinson & Donnie Boyce who are tied at 6th with 405 assists.
    8
    Where I'm Projecting Ski To Finish Among CU's All-Time Steals Totals.


    Currently tied for 15th with Nate Tomlinson (111 steals) and just five steals away from moving into the 12th spot. His 45 steals last season tied him for 25th on the single-season record with Toney Ellis. Another solid season like that should easily move Ski into top 10 as he's only 27 steals away from passing Mike Reid for the #10 spot. Another season like last year will get him past Marcus Hall & Randy Robinson as well, but Andre Roberson's #7 spot appears to be safe as he is currently 53 steals ahead of Ski. If however Ski becomes a thieving fool and the Buffs can go on a run, with 2 spg he can move into the top 4. Currently Jose Winston and Stevie Wise are tied at #4 with 179 steals. With those 2 steals a game and a good run, Ski will find himself behind only Jay Humphries (who had an unreal 309 steals in his time at CU), Donnie Boyce and Cory Higgins.
    7
    Where I'm Projecting Ski To Finish Among CU's All-Time Scoring Totals.


    Currently only 27th in school history with 1,208 points, Ski could make a rapid ascent up the all-time scoring totals list this year. Last year's 481 points tied for 29th best in school history (with Donnie Boyce's 1994-95 season) and if he matched that total this year, he will finish 7th in school history - just passing Emmett Lewis. The interesting thing will be seeing how high Ski can get. Currently, Stevie Wise is 6th with 1,727 points - a realistic target for Ski to pass (roughly 15 ppg over 35 games), but beyond Wise the numbers get hard to hit. To pass Shaun Vandiver's 1,876 points, Ski would have to score 669 points this year - or just over 19 points a game over 35 games. Honestly, I don't know if he can do that with as many other options as the team has (plus, you know, #Tadball). So for right now, I'm pegging him in at 7th with a chance to move into 6th.
    3
    The Number of Players In School History Who Have Put Up 1,000 Points, 500 Rebounds, 200 Assists and 100 Steals While Wearing a CU Jersey.


    Those three players are Donnie Boyce, Cory Higgins and Richard Roby. We're talking the cream of the crop when it comes to CU Basketball. Now remember that rebound number I gave you earlier? I'm currently projecting Ski to finish with 474 rebounds for his career. Can he get an extra 26 rebounds this season? It'd require him to grab roughly 4.5 rebounds a game over 35 games this season. It's possible, but it won't be easy. But the simple fact that he's even in discussions to join that grouping tells you just how special Ski is.
    2
    Where I'm Projecting Ski To Finish Among CU's All-Time Minutes Played Totals.


    Ski is already currently 16th all-time in school history with 2,872 minutes played. If he doubles last year's total of 1,068 minutes (tied with Nate Tomlinson's 2011-12 season and Marcus Relphorde's 2010-11 season), he'll move in to the #2 spot in school history with, 3,940 minutes. However, short of playing Ski ridiculous minutes, it's unlikely that he'll be able to catch Cory Higgins who finished with 4,478 minutes at CU. But how does someone who's generously listed at 6'2" and 175 lbs. play so many minutes (especially when you consider how fearless he is wading in to the paint)? Heart. Lots and lots of heart. And teammates notice. Beau Gamble was nice enough to talk to me about Ski, and he opened up on why Ski is able to do it despite his physical limitations.

    "The best part about being teammates with Ski was that he treated me no different than he treated anyone else," Gamble said. "What I mean by that is, it didn't matter if I was guarding him in practice or Andre Roberson was guarding him. He was giving 100 percent effort all the time. When some guys go against walk-ons they see it as an opportunity to rest or not go as hard, Ski saw me as just another dude he was going to get a bucket on. Some guys don't like it when walk-ons play extra tough D or give that extra effort to box out or whatever, Ski loved that ****, I think he respected me more because of it."

    Beau also told me a story that further added to Ski's heart. "The other thing I will remember most from Ski was after my senior night vs Arizona. He was the only one who understood how much worse that game felt for Ben (Mills) and I. I'll never forget when he gave me a hug in the locker room after that game, and said he was personally sorry for ruining my last game at Coors. Little things like that just showed how much the dude really did care."
    1
    Where I'm Projecting Ski To Finish Among CU's All-Time Wins & The Only Player in School History To Play In 4 Straight NCAA Tournaments.


    Winner. The kid just wins. Say what you want about the extended seasons compared to the past, but he has a chance at over 100 wins in a CU jersey. No matter who or what you're talking about, that's a damn impressive feat. And let's not ignore the four straight tournaments (provided CU meets preseason expectations and dances again this year). This is something that no one in the entire history of Colorado athletics has been able to do. Ski will be the first. Number one.

    "As a lifelong Buffs fan, and someone who has been close to the program my whole life, I would say Ski is on track to be one of the all time great Buffs," Gamble told me. "He hit 'the shot' which will go down one of the best moments in CU basketball history. I would say he will be remembered most for making the spectacular play, but he should be remembered most as a winner because that's all he has done since he stepped on campus. I will put him in the Rich Roby and Cory Higgins category. Both of them scored more points, but neither of them come close to amount of wins Ski will leave with."
    ...
    The Things That Can't Be Counted


    But there's also the qualities that Ski has that can't be quantified by numbers. Ski is always someone who does his best when the lights shine the brightest. What about his freshman year when he lead the team in scoring in the NCAA tournament (15.5 ppg) despite the fact that he wasn't even a starter? What about his sophomore year when he flat out carried the team to the championship of the Charleston Classic and brought home the MVP trophy? You know at some point this year, Ski is going to do something incredible when everyone is watching him, you just don't know what.

    Like "the shot" that Gamble mentioned. And the last number on our list.
    1
    Where Ski Will Finish In Number of Game Winning Shots Against Kansas In CU History.

    [video=youtube;-ycTB27RlEc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ycTB27RlEc[/video]
     
  2. BuffDog

    BuffDog Club Member Club Member

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    Great write up. We will miss Ski in the coming years.
     
  3. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Damn incredible stuff. You will not get a better preseason article on the buffs
     
  4. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Ski's going to be on a mission this year to get us to the Dance and advance.

    He worked his ass off this offseason and his confidence is through the roof.

    I have a feeling that we're going to see a lot of "Big Game Ski" this year as he puts it together and is consistently great all season.
     
  5. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Rumblin's preview destroys everything every year. I'm putting my money on that.
     
  6. BuffHerd

    BuffHerd Club Member Club Member

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    Great, great, great write up. Ski will always be associated with the turn-around at CU. Kid is a winner.
     
  7. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    He's got competition this year
     
  8. wyobuff

    wyobuff Well-Known Member

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    I hope we are going to see a lot of big game ski as well this year. It's going to be his last year in the B&G and he's going to want to leave it all on the court every game. He's got a pretty strong group with him too.
     
  9. Bone Buff

    Bone Buff Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    I'll just throw this up here so you don't have to keep hitting the play button on youtube like I was.
     
  10. BuffDog

    BuffDog Club Member Club Member

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    I love the Kansas shot but the play I might even a little bit more is one where he blocks the 7 footer that was looking to dunk. Many players much taller than 6'2" would have given the player an easy dunk but not Ski. He is fearless. Looking forward to one more year of Ski time.
     
  11. TDforTD

    TDforTD Banned BANNED Club Member

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    I still think he best fits as a 6th man creating a scoring punch off the bench. But I'm glad he's a Buff.
     
  12. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    :huh:
     
  13. Buffalo Brad

    Buffalo Brad Club Member Club Member

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    Goose, freaking great write up and I have to spread some around before I can hit you again with the rep stick. Fantastic job. Ski is going to be a monster his senior year!
     
  14. wyobuff

    wyobuff Well-Known Member

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  15. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    Nice write up and interesting projections.

    I sense that he is going to fall short on a number of those projections. As you mentioned Tadball tends to distribute the ball and minutes and this team has a lot of guys who can take their share of both. It also assumes that he stays healthy throughout the year which we hope for but can't assume as well.

    It is certainly fair to say that even if he doesn't reach those statistical levels your main point is still valid.

    Ski is a big part of this team moving from an also ran to a team that expects and is expected to not only go to the tourney but also to be looking for some success when it gets there. He has shown himself to a bigtime player on a big stage and a guy that most schools in the country would like to have playing for them.

    Good work
     
  16. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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  17. wyobuff

    wyobuff Well-Known Member

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    The gif I found was too large to post into the forum, and after spending 10 min trying to compress it (fairly unsuccessfully) I just put the link up.
     
  18. RK

    RK UBL Club Member

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    [video]https://vine.co/v/hlHH3mEDFQA[/video]
     
  19. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I hope that the fans have finally learned to celebrate Ski for what he is instead of worrying so much about what he's not.

    What I mean is that he may very well be a high volume shooter at PG who isn't terribly efficient but will always attack while playing harder than anyone on the court. He's a Westbrook, not a CP3. And he's a great player.
     
  20. BuffDog

    BuffDog Club Member Club Member

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  21. BuffDog

    BuffDog Club Member Club Member

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    This is a funnier version. Thanks
     
  22. TDforTD

    TDforTD Banned BANNED Club Member

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    I understand that and def agree with you.The guy shot under 40% and commits a lot of turnovers, but I like the guy. I've always seen him as a Devin Harris type, and when I call him a 6th man I don't mean it to be offensive. I just don't like him in the starting lineup personally. Our team runs best through Scott.
     
  23. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    Nate Tomlinson was mentioned 3 times, I'm surprised you enjoyed it that much
     
  24. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Love me my aussie little bro
     
  25. NBDefektor

    NBDefektor Well-Known Member

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    You guys are all ridiculous. Joel Klatt is at the top of a lot of CU QB records...does that mean he's one of the greatest all-time buffs? No. It just means he played for 3-4 years where most guys play 2 at most. Same goes for ski, except I like ski whereas I dislike klatt. Sorry to ruin the circle jerk...
     
  26. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Yeesh, you sure are doing a disservice to a guy you like
     
  27. jsmilkst

    jsmilkst Club Member Club Member

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    I don't need the numbers. He is an entertaining and critical cog in the best 4-year run of CU basketball history. That's enough to put him among the greats. I will continue jerking happily.
     
  28. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Just so you know, for him to hit these projections, he just has to put up the exact same numbers he did last season. If you're expecting him to regress, he won't hit them. Otherwise he should.
     
  29. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    The main difference is that Ski is here for the most successful run in CU history.

    I value the fact that he's going to be a 4-year player. It's part of his legacy.

    And basketball stats are weird. Yes, longevity plays a big role. But so does the quality of the team you play on. Better team means fewer minutes and less stat stuffing.
     
  30. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    Didn't say they were out of range by any means but I wouldn't be surprised if his stats regressed a little bit. Also as I mentioned they rely on him being healthy all season and while I hope he is that isn't guaranteed either.

    My point is though not to focus on if he does or doesn't make the statistical milestones, he has still been a fun player to watch and a key part of turning this program into one that is in the upper end of college BB instead of the bottom.

    That's where I throw out the comparison to Klatt. Ski has produced his numbers in the middle of the most successful run of CU basketball in most of our lifetimes. Stats are one thing, stats that contribute to winning are something else and Ski has been a winner.
     

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