He unquestionably was the most pleasant surprise of the 2015-16 season for the Colorado men's basketball team.

And the good news for the Buffs and their fans is that George King still has plenty of untapped potential he can mine and develop over the next two seasons.

A breakout star who was voted the Pac-12 Conference's Most Improved Player by the league coaches, King recognizes the improvements he already has made while understanding the ceiling on his talents remains much higher.

"Obviously, I'm a versatile player and I need to show I'm a versatile player," King said. "I need to rebound more. I shouldn't average four rebounds a game, I should average more than that. I know I'm a decent scorer, and I know teams know that, so I think I can be a threat attacking and making the extra pass."

King ranked second on the team in scoring with an average of 13.6 points per game, bursting out of the gate with a career-best 27-point performance at Auburn in the second game of the season that served notice the hard work he so diligently put in during his previous redshirt season was time well spent.

King finished with eight 20-point games, including both games in the Pac-12 tournament in addition to a 23-point night against Stanford on Jan. 27 that featured a 5-for-5 mark from 3-point range. King compiled the top 3-point percentage in the league (.456) and saved the Buffs from a potentially devastating loss against Washington State on Feb. 11 with a 3-pointer at the buzzer of the first overtime that allowed CU to eventually prevail in double overtime.


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It was an impressive campaign, yet one that left both King and head coach Tad Boyle eager for more.

"The exciting thing about George is that as we look forward, the ceiling is much higher than where he is right now," Boyle said. "Assists-to-turnover ratio is something he's got to really concentrate on and get better at. He can make plays for himself now. Now he's got to be able to make plays for his teammate. That's the next step for him, to be a facilitator as well as a scorer.

"Distributing the ball, finishing the ball, and become a better rebounder. He's got great size, great length, great strength. There's no reason he can't be a double-double guy in my mind."

If King tackles this offseason the way he worked through his redshirt season, expect more consistency from his game. King averaged 4.7 rebounds but has the skill set to improve that mark. And he recorded just 23 assists and 13 steals all season. Exclude the season-best three assists King tallied in two different games, and he recorded just 17 assists in CU's other 32 contests.

King is the first to admit those numbers need to improve, and he expects to do just that with a full season of playing experience under his belt.

"I've been watching a lot of (the NCAA Tournament) and the good teams have a lot of mature players," King said. "Not necessarily seniors, but mature players who make mature plays. Not a lot of silly immature mistakes I know I was guilty of. I think if we can all mature as basketball players I think that will really catapult us."

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07