Colorado men's basketball coach Tad Boyle has warned his freshmen that they could go through a period of time where they get worse before they get better.
George King has already had his turn.
"I'm the perfect example," said King, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward from San Antonio, Texas. "I wasn't so pretty (early on), it got worse and I think I'm on the incline right now. It's getting better. I'm doing things without thinking about it. I'm not hesitant anymore."
In terms of learning the CU playbook and putting that knowledge onto the court, King is making progress as the Buffaloes get ever closer to their Nov. 8 season opener against Baylor in Dallas.
Just what kind of role he will fill, however, has yet to be determined.
"It's a little early (to figure that out)," Boyle said. "He's got to be one of those guys that's got to be ready when his number is called. I don't know where he is right now in the rotation, but he's a guy that there's going to be certain spots and certain situation where he's going to be able to come in and help us.
"George is really a gifted and talented player, multi-dimensional, which obviously fits into what we like very well."
CU's roster is filled with talent -- and versatile talent -- however, so it's quite possible that King winds up sitting out the season as a redshirt, thus giving him four full seasons of eligibility after this year.
Regardless, King has worked as hard as anybody on the roster as he tries to figure out life as a college student and a college basketball player.
"He's going through a major transition, academically and basketball-wise," Boyle said. "There's a lot of things that are being thrown his way."
In the classroom, King figured out early on that college courses are a lot more difficult that anything he went through at Brennan High School. He's realized there are no comparisons on the court, either.
"It is frustrating, it really is," he said of some of his struggles in practice. "In high school, I used to be able to come to practice and give like 60 percent and I'd still be one of the better players out there. If I give 60 percent out here, I'd be exposed. My 100 percent is being exposed a little bit. Boyle keeps telling me just keep playing hard and I'll be fine."
What King is going through is no different than other freshmen, including his 2013 classmates Tre'Shaun Fletcher, Jaron Hopkins and Dustin Thomas.
As the coaching staff installs the offensive and defensive systems, freshmen often get overwhelmed with all the information thrown at them. So, when they get on the court, they are prone to mistakes, such as mixing up plays, being in the wrong spot and other mental errors.
"It's that, and then it's that much harder when you're tired," King said.
While it has been frustrating at times, King has been able to take a long-term view of the situation, realizing that everything he's going through will make him a better player down the road.
"I'm starting to get a feel of the system a little bit better," he said. "Last week I noticed I made a lot more mistakes on Monday and Tuesday practices than I did this week on Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully I can keep that going and limit my mistakes."
There have been flashes of King's potential throughout practice this month, from his outside shooting to his ability to score and rebound in the paint.
Whether or not he gets to show off his skills on game nights this season, he doesn't know. But, he does know that whether he's a redshirt or a key role player for the Buffs, he will get the most out of this season.
"I'm just going to keep playing hard," he said. "I remember coming in my sophomore year of high school and I wasn't the best player and playing against really good juniors that were better than I was and they got me better. It's the same situation right now, playing against guys that are better than I am.
"Eventually, I'll come to their level, if not better."