Not even jet lag could spoil Tad Boyle's mood.
Colorado's third-year head coach is even more excited about the 2012-13 roster after returning from the Buffs' five-game European exhibition tour against professional teams.
Freshman big man Josh Scott averaged 17.4 points and 7.0 rebounds to lead the effort. Andre Roberson picked up where he left off in March, averaging a healthy double-double (14.3 points, 13.8 rebounds).
Sophomore shooting guard Askia Booker (12.0 ppg) and Xavier Johnson (10.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg) also showed off their considerable skill sets.
Of course the statistic Boyle will be harping on when practices begin October is the 74.6 points per game his young squad gave up.
"We're awful young and awful talented and we've got some guys that can score the ball for us," Boyle said when asked what he learned about his team during the trip. "Obviously, we have a lot of work to do defensively. That's the one area we came back with understanding how important it is to get better."
The games didn't count, but they did matter for a team with six true freshmen and seven new faces.
It's hard to image a better start to his college career than the one Scott had. The 6-10 forward from Colorado Springs shot 58.5 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from the free-throw line.
"Josh is everything we thought he would be and maybe a little bit more," Boyle said. "He has a knack for scoring down low and he's aggressive, which lends itself to basketball at this level. He rebounded the ball well, too.
"I was encouraged with how he chased down some rebounds and that he gets to line because he's a good foul shooter."
The Buffs should be able to create problems for opponents in the paint on both ends of the floor.
Of Scott's 35 rebounds over the five games, 27 came on the offensive glass. Meanwhile, Roberson ripped down 30 defensive rebounds in only four games.
After back-to-back double-digit losses in Paris to AMW France, a team that also swept Kansas, the Buffs won two of their final three games -- a 90-63 romp over Optima Ghent and a 97-57 pasting of Rotterdam.
Boyle did not play Roberson, Booker, Sabatino Chen or Spencer Dinwiddie -- who were all key contributors on last year's NCAA Tournament team -- in an 88-86 loss to Gembo BBC.
The 2012 recruiting class nearly pulled off a comeback win in that game.
"That was a good one," Boyle said. "It was good to see the older guys on the bench watching some of the mistakes the freshmen were making and learning from that. Some of the guys said, 'We see what you guys as coaches go through now.'
"It was great for our freshmen to be out there competing and fighting back together. That was a really good learning experience, and the team we played was a solid basketball team."
The coaching staff also got a good look at freshmen Chris Jenkins (7.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg), Wesley Gordon (4.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Eli Stalzer (5.2 ppg, 100 minutes played) and Xavier Talton (2.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg).
Boyle still doesn't know how deep the Buffs can be because junior center Shane Harris-Tunks and junior wing Jeremy Adams did not play due to knee injuries.
"Without a doubt the most disappointing part of the trip was Jeremy Adams and Shane Harris-Tunks not playing," Boyle said. "Those guys need the reps, those guys need to step into new roles next year. Otherwise, we're going to be relying on freshmen, which as a coach is going to be a little bit uncomfortable."
After a disappointing performance at the Puerto Rico Tip-off last season, Boyle warned the seniors that they would be on the bench watching younger players if they didn't step up their play and leadership.
Carlon Brown, Austin Dufault and Nate Tomlinson answered that challenge in memorable fashion, leading the program to another 24-win season and the Pac-12 Tournament championship.
It sounds like Adams and Harris-Tunks had better be ready to go when practices resume this fall.
"It was good for the freshmen because it got them more minutes," Boyle said. "But it was not good for Jeremy and Shane to not play. Those question marks will go unanswered now until November."
CU will open the season on Friday, Nov. 9 against Wofford College at the Coors Events Center.
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