Be it team rebounding, 3-point shooting, or general intensity, there have been plenty of areas where the Colorado men's basketball team hasn't received the production it expected.

There haven't been too many pleasant surprises either for the Buffs beyond the largely consistent scoring punch of Derrick White. Yet the rebounding of fourth-year junior George King certainly counts as one of them.

Challenged throughout his CU career by coach Tad Boyle to better utilize his 6-foot-6 frame on the glass, King is coming off his fifth double-double of the season as the Buffs get set to host No. 4 UCLA Thursday night at the Coors Events Center (9 p.m., FS1).

While King still is trying to find the mark on his once-reliable 3-point shot, he has displayed a far greater ability to contribute in additional ways compared to his breakout 2015-16 season.

"That's why George is playing and why he deserves his minutes," Boyle said. "He's a guy who has earned his minutes by the way he is rebounding the ball. Now when he gets to shooting the ball and making decisions offensively like he's capable of, then he's going to turn into the George King we all fell in love with last year.

"Until then, we have to rely on his rebounding and his defense to help this team. Hopefully the jump shot comes, because certainly he's had a lot of good looks."


To his credit, King has not allowed his struggles from 3-point range to hinder his development as a rebounder. It is King, not leading rebounder Wesley Gordon, who tops the Buffs in double-figure rebounding games (five for King, four for Gordon). Additionally, King has shown he can compete on the glass against the nation's best. While Gordon has posted his four double-digit rebounding games in home contests against Sacramento State, Seattle, and Eastern Washington alongside a road game at Portland, King has hit that mark against three ranked opponents (Texas, Xavier, Arizona), another that is currently ranked (Notre Dame) as well as one in a difficult road environment at Brigham Young. Only the Xavier game was played at home.

The Buffs hope King can continue that trend against national powers against UCLA, which brings the sixth and seventh-ranked rebounders in the Pac-12, respectively, to town in freshman TJ Leaf and 7-foot junior Thomas Welsh.

"Rebounding has been a struggle for us as a team, and coach put me in charge of rebounding a little," King said. "He said I'm at the point now where I can get on someone if they're not rebounding, or if they need to be crashing the boards. Who am I to yell at someone for not crashing the boards if I'm not crashing the boards? I've got to set a standard as well. That's what I'm doing."

While his 3-point shot has been awry — King led the Pac-12 with a .456 3-point percentage last year but currently sits at .283 — King has found other ways to maintain a double-digit scoring average. Last year he posted a .438 shooting percentage on two-point attempts. This season that figure sits at .554 in a similar number of two-point attempts per game (5.6 last year, 5.2 this year).

"I'm pretty good at reading the ball off the rim, I'm an athletic guy with long arms, and I can jump with the best of them," King said. "All I'm doing is when I see my teammates put the ball up and it hits the rim, I'm reading it off the rim. I'm jumping as high as I can and getting my hands on the ball. That's all I'm doing."

Radio show

A weekly coaches show with Boyle and women's basketball coach JR Payne was set to debut Tuesday night at 7 p.m. on 850 AM KOA. Fans are welcome to visit the hour-long show each week live at Carelli's (intersection of 30th and Baseline). The show will air every Tuesday with two exceptions when scheduling conflicts will shift the show to Mondays (Jan. 16 and Feb. 13).

Pat Rooney: or