Former Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik left for Wake Forest this past Spring, but he really left behind a good team for his successor. Colorado went 15-16 last season and they have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2003. Still, with what new head coach Tad Boyle has to work with gives Colorado hope to end this drought. Boyle came over from Northern Colorado and has the benefit of the three key players that led Colorado last season. Last year’s Big 12 Freshman of the Year in Alec Burks coming back, as do seniors Cory Higgins and Marcus Relphorde. The three put up 47.0 points per night last season. This team equals the talent of that 2003 squad that made it to the Big Dance, and with a new practice facility and a switch to the Pac-10, interest surrounding the team is at an all-time high. First and foremost, the Buffaloes need to get better on defense (74.2 PPG) and their rebounding (-7.5 margin) to attain their ultimate goal this season.

Colorado is +2000 to win the league this season. That translates to a $100 wager would win you $2,000 if this were to come true. I certainly think it’s a longshot, but viewing they return more offense than any other school in the Big 12 it’s not out of the question. Check out these college basketball lines for futures betting at BetUS. This reliable book will give you up to a $500 bonus on your initial deposit simply by signing up for a new account and depositing $500 or more.

Trust in Jack Jones to take make you a ton of money this year. Jack is on a 37-23 (62%) Run with his NCAA basketball picks dating back to last year.


The team had a -7.5 rebounding margin last year, and it was even worse in Big 12 games at -11.4. A big reason was the play of first-year center Shane Harris-Tunks, as well as sophomore forward Austin Dufault playing out of position. An extra year for each should bring improvement in this area. Boyle was able to bring in 7-foot freshman Ben Mills last May who should play instantly as long as he can hold his own inside. Senior Marcus Relphorde contributed 11.0 PPG and 4.1 RPG last season, but he is recognized for his penetrating offensive skills more than his defense. Junior Trey Eckloff will be one of the guys coming off the bench after not finding much action last season. Burks led the Buffs in rebounding at 5.0 RPG, and when a backcourt player is leading the team in rebounding there’s clearly a problem. Colorado will certainly return to square one as Boyle teaches rebounding and defense with a lot more frequency than Bzdelik.


Burks ended up seventh in the Big 12 in points at 17.1 PPG and led the league in shooting percentage at 53.8 percent. He could not have had a better freshman season, but for him to reach his full ability he needs to get stronger. Boyle struck gold when he got Burks to stick around instead of entering the NBA Draft, telling him how his passing offense would help Burks in the future. Higgins was fourth in the Big 12 in scoring at 18.9 PPG and finished second behind Burks in field goal percentage at 50.5 percent. It’s hard to consider how Colorado could have a losing season with two solid players like Burks and Higgins on the outside who were able to knock down more than 50% of their shots even though opposing teams game-planned around preventing them from doing so. The wild card is freshman point guard Shannon Sharpe, who had to redshirt last year after hurting his knee in the preseason and undergoing microfracture surgery. He’ll battle it out with junior Nate Tomlinson, who started 21 times last year at point guard despite being inconsistent.

Jack’s Pick: 6th Place in the Big 12 – There hasn’t been much excitement around Colorado basketball in recent years, but there is promise of a breakout in 2010-11. Boyle was able to get Higgins, Burks and Relphorde and their huge offensive contributions to come back, and that’s a victory within itself. He has plenty of talent to geniunely make a run at a league title, but must get this team to rebound and defend. Colorado posted 74.6 PPG last season and can score with anyone, but a lack of depth and a wonder about how seriously these returning players want to buy in on the defensive end makes it hard for me to pick Colorado to end up any higher than 6th in the standings. I do see the Buffaloes sneaking into the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid, reaching the Big Dance for the first time since 2003.