FORT COLLINS — He has been described by head coach Tad Boyle as his team's X factor, a player that can make average teams good and good teams great.
On Sunday, Wesley Gordon showed exactly why Boyle holds him in such high regard, as the junior forward proved to be the key figure in the Colorado Buffaloes' 88-77 comeback win at rival Colorado State.
"I've been telling people that Wesley Gordon is a force on offense, and I think you saw that tonight," CU senior Josh Scott said. "Wesley can shoot. He shoots in practice all the time. Last year, I remember having to yell at him to shoot. I think you're going to see a more aggressive Wesley this year in general. People will not be ready and that's going to work to our benefit.
"Wes is super-talented. That's what he's capable of, and probably more."
Down 52-39 at halftime, CU's rally began with Gordon opening the second half by calmly knocking down his first 3-pointer of the season. He added a second 3-pointer moments later, setting the tone for a monster half.
After recording just three points and two rebounds in the first half, Gordon finished with gaudy totals of 15 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocked shots. He made 3-of-4 shots from the floor and went 7-for-9 at the free throw line.
Gordon has averaged 12.3 rebounds over the past three games and, after a slow start offensively that saw Gordon score just 12 points total in the first three games, he has averaged nine points over the past five games.
"I felt comfortable after that (3-pointer)," Gordon said. "I felt very confident in my jumper. It felt very good to see the ball go in. It just opened up opportunities for me to stay aggressive."
Scott, of course, was happy with the win above all else in Sunday's rivalry showdown at CU — his 100th game in a Buffaloes uniform. Yet his performance personally nonetheless was a rewarding one for the Buffs' senior center.
Scott had struggled throughout his career against the Rams, scoring just 12 points total in three previous matchups. That ledger included an 0-for-7 effort as CU fell by two points at home last year. On Sunday, Scott waited patiently to make his mark, eventually going 9-for-15 from the floor and finishing with a game-high 21 points to go with 11 rebounds.
"They front him and they just make him work for everything," Boyle said. "Last year he got really frustrated. This yea he knew it was coming. He expected it. He really made an effort on the offensive boards. When your two bigs have double-doubles, you're doing pretty good."
CU has scored at least 80 points in a school-record seven consecutive games ... Scott's double-double was his fourth of the season and 27th of his career. Gordon posted his first double-double of the season and the sixth of his career ... Despite playing just six minutes in the first half due to foul issues, point guard Dom Collier still finished with a career-best seven assists ... The Buffs committed a season-low seven turnovers.