Throughout the regular season, particularly in conference play, the University of Colorado men's basketball team has seen a fair amount of success with a record of 21-10 and a Pac-12 record of 10-8.
Anyone's who's watch this team all year knows that the majority of success revolves around senior forward Josh Scott, junior forward Wesley Gordon and sophomore guard George King.
Even the conference acknowledged their success firsthand earlier this week, handing the Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year award to King, who redshirted last year after averaging 1.5 points per game and 1.5 rebounds per game as a freshman.
Scott, perhaps the biggest factor in Colorado's success or failure, was honored on the All-Pac-12 first team and the conference's All-Defensive Team. Gordon also received honorable mention in the latter.
Still not convinced? Let's take a look at the numbers.
In individual performances among the 12 conference teams, Scott was in the top 15 players in the Pac-12 in seven categories:
Scoring: fifth, 16.5 ppg
Field-goal percentage: ninth, 54.1 percent
Rebounding: fourth, 8.7 rpg
Free-throw percentage: 13th, 74.9 percent
Blocked shots: fourth, 49 total, 1.7 bpg
Offensive rebounds: sixth, 2.7 per game
Defensive rebounds: fourth, six per game
As a unit, the Buffaloes are seventh in scoring with 75.8 points per game and in scoring defense, giving up 70.8 points. Their field-goal percentage sits at ninth with 42.8 percent.
Although Gordon hasn't been the most efficient man on offense this season, only racking up 7.4 points per game, he's rarely missed a day of suffocating his opponent defensively. The proof is all in the conference numbers:
Rebounding: eighth, 7.6 rpg
Blocked shots: third, 66 total, 2.1 bpg
Offensive rebounds: fourth, three per game
Defensive rebounds: 12th, 4.6 per game
Defensively, the Buffs are fourth in blocked shots with 5.1 per game and sit at second in rebounding margin, behind Arizona, with plus 8.6 rebounds a contest.
Last year, the Buffs' performance behind the arc was abysmal on both sides of the ball, but enter King this year, and problem solved. King and Providence transfer Josh Fortune, have boosted the Buffs' 3-point game from the bottom of the Pac-12 to the top.
Although they're eighth overall in 3-point defense, their offense from long range had made great strides in a few short months since last season.
Sitting at No. 1 in the conference, the Buffs are averaging 39.6 percent from that area of the floor, led by King and Fortune.
Three-point FG percentage:
George King: first, 45.3 percent
Josh Fortune: 13th, 39.7 percent
Three-point FG made:
King: sixth, 63 total, two per game (making him the most efficient triple shooter in the conference).
In 3-point field goals made, CU ranks first with a 39.6 percent success rate.
Whether you believe in this team or not, one thing is clear. Without Gordon, Scott or King, they wouldn't have gotten much of anywhere this year, nor would they be contending for a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
After all, stats don't lie.
Alissa Noe: firstname.lastname@example.org