With Colorado ho-humming through the first half of Saturday's 94-70 win against Jackson State, junior Askia Booker lobbed a pass above the rim that freshman Jaron Hopkins snagged out of the air and slammed down for an alley-oop dunk.

That got the 9,042 fans at Coors Events Center on their feet.

Less than four minutes later, junior Spencer Dinwiddie repeated the act, this time lobbing the ball from near midcourt to Hopkins, who once again got the crowd rockin' with a dunk.

"It was a really good feeling for me getting the crowd involved and just playing to win," Hopkins said. "I played as hard as I could I left it all out on the floor."

Not a bad first start for the dynamic guard from Mesa, Ariz.

Colorado freshman Jaron Hopkins slams one home on Saturday against Jackson State at Coors Events Center.
Colorado freshman Jaron Hopkins slams one home on Saturday against Jackson State at Coors Events Center. ( JEREMY PAPASSO )

Sophomore forward Xavier Johnson, who had started the first three games, was "dinged" during Friday's practice, Buffs head coach Tad Boyle said. Because of that Johnson sat on the bench in street clothes and Hopkins got the nod.

"I didn't know I was going to start until eight minutes before the game," Hopkins said. "Coach told me and I just had to prepare for that and be able to come out with a good start."

Hopkins hit a 3-pointer for CU's first points and he finished with a season-best 12 points. He also had three rebounds, two assists and no turnovers in his 19 minutes.

"I thought he was terrific," said Boyle, who then added, "You haven't seen the best of him, I can promise you that."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.