Last month, as the Colorado men's basketball team took its almost-annual two game jaunt through Arizona, Josh Repine couldn't help taking a few moments to savor the view inside each arena the Buffaloes visited.

This, after all, was why Repine opted to stay close to home as a walk-on with the program he grew up rooting for when he could've enjoyed a more prominent role at a smaller school. The raucous crows. The nationally-ranked opponents. While the Buffs didn't come home from that Arizona trip with a win, Repine returned with a newfound appreciation of just how quickly his time donning a CU jersey is coming to an end.

"When we were at Arizona and Arizona State, that's when it really started to hit me," Repine said. "I love it. I never take any of this for granted. Yes, it's going quickly, but I love it. Me growing up and actually being a leader on this team, that's something that I'll remember forever. I still think with our team the best is yet to come. I still think our run is yet to come.

"But just being with the guys, as always, that's why I do it as a walk-on. It's always worth it to be with the guys."

As the Buffaloes began their final homestand of the regular season Wednesday night against USC, it marked the beginning of the end for Repine and fellow seniors George King, Dom Collier, and, possibly, Tory Miller-Stewart, who still is mulling returning for a fifth season after suffering a season-ending broken foot after just six games.


Advertisement

For Repine, the 2017-18 season has found him in the unique position of being one of the last options at the end of the bench who nonetheless has filled a meaningful leadership role for a team that has leaned heavily on freshmen. The youngsters and Repine's classmates alike lauded his leadership through the preseason and again after the Buffs captured the championship of the Paradise Jam after winning three games in three days in November.

Head coach Tad Boyle has looked to Repine's leadership far more than is typical of a senior who entered his next-to-last home game having logged a total of only six minutes over three games all season.

"Really a special kid. I can't say enough about him," Boyle said. "He has impacted this team off the court. He's impacted this team in the locker room. Our guys respect him. They love him. They listen to him. The thing I appreciate about guys like that is they're all about the team. There's not a selfish bone in his body. Just look at how McKinley Wright reveres him and respects him and listens to him.

"The only way you can lead is by opening up your mouth and letting your voice be heard. Josh Repine is not afraid to do that, and he hasn't been afraid to do that. And we're going to need him to continue to do that as we move down the stretch."

Going into the USC game, the only points of Repine's career came on a 3-pointer late in a win against Northern Colorado two years ago. In a career that has seen him play only 27 minutes over four years, Repine has diligently taken notes from his view at the end of the bench, and he often can be seen before games sharing thoughts with one of CU's assistant coaches. Don't be surprised if Repine eventually uses that knowledge to embark on a coaching career.

"I'm accounting and finance, so maybe investment banking," said Repine. "But the more and more I'm around here and around this team, it makes me really want to get into coaching. Maybe a GA situation somewhere is possible."

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07