Colorado`s 7-foot freshman scored six points on 3-for-4 shooting -- including a sky hook Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would be proud of -- during the Buffs` 89-61 victory over The Citadel on Friday at the Coors Events Center.
The kid from Hartland, Wis., said he has broken down some really old tapes of Abdul-Jabbar dating back to his days with Milwaukee.
"Me and my dad were big fans," Mills said. "He was on the Bucks, so I grew up watching him."
Mills is quickly becoming a fan favorite, and Tad Boyle plans to give the big guy more minutes leading up to Big 12 play.
"The only way he`s going to get better is to play. He`s going to have to help us at times this year defensively," Boyle said.
"You can sense our fans really like him and want him to do well."
Mills scored two transition layups on nice feeds from Marcus Relphorde and Shannon Sharpe. His sky hook gave CU a 34-20 lead in the first half and had the crowd of 4,368 buzzing.
"I feel like I`ve improved a lot since I came here in the summer," Mills said. "My teammates did a good job of finding me in a place where I could finish."
Boyle`s other talented true freshman, Andre Roberson, recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"One of the areas I`m trying to grow at is my offensive side in general," said Roberson, who entered the game as CU`s leading rebounder (6.6 rpg). "I know I can do the defense because I focus on that all the time. I`m trying to add the little things game-by-game so it evolves."
The Citadel out-rebounded CU 18-15 in the first half, but the Buffs -- thanks in large part to Roberson -- had a 33-29 edge on the glass by the end of the game.
Streaking at home
The Buffs have now won four consecutive games this season (all at home), nine consecutive home games dating back to last season, and 18 consecutive non-conference home games dating back to the 2008-09 season.
Classic at Coors
Technically, the Buffs are 1-0 in the Las Vegas Classic.
The first two rounds are being played on campus sites. CU will host Longwood on Sunday while The Citadel will play New Mexico.
Indiana and Northern Iowa are in the middle of home games with SIU-Edwardsville and South Carolina State this weekend.
The Buffs draw New Mexico next Wednesday in Las Vegas and play either Indiana or Northern Iowa on Thursday. The Citadel will play South Carolina State and either Longwood or SIU-Edwardsville in Las Vegas.
The Bulldogs will have traveled 5,059 miles on this four-game trip by the time they arrive back in Charleston, S.C.
This was the first meeting between CU and The Citadel. The Buffs are now 4-0 all-time against teams from the Southern Conference. ... Austin Dufalt (eight points, six rebounds) scored the 500th point of his CU career. ... The Buffs had nine turnovers and have been in single digits in that category five times in the last nine games. ... CU is now 6-0 when at least four players score in double figures. ... The Buffs had a 23-2 edge in fast break points and a 34-10 edge in bench points.