Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
George King, left, defends against Tre’Shaun Fletcher during a Colorado basketball practice last week. King has drawn raves for his focus and aggressiveness in drills.

A recent evening found redshirt sophomore George King hoisting jumpers all by his lonesome on the Coors Events Center floor.

It would be easy to assume it was a habit King picked up last season, when he took his redshirt season at the insistence of head coach Tad Boyle in order to improve both his strength and his skills.

Instead, King says it is a regular exercise he undergoes in order to keep his mind focus and his shot honed.

“I’ve always done that since I started taking basketball seriously in middle school,” King said. “An off day doesn’t really mean you’re off, at least to me. You’re not running and jumping and grinding, but you’re still in the gym working on your shot. That’s what I like to do.”

King is among several intriguing “ifs” surrounding the Buffs entering this season. A late signee in the spring of 2013, King did appear in 27 games as a true freshman in 2013-14, averaging 5.5 minutes per appearance.

Over the past month of preseason workouts King has drawn raves for his focus and aggressiveness, and his hiatus will end Friday against No. 7 Iowa State. Expect King to either draw the starting assignment at the small forward spot or be called upon by Boyle as one of the first Buffs off the bench.

“I’m very excited,” King said. “I sat out last year and picked up on a lot of stuff mentally. And picked up some strength as well. I’m excited to put that to the test for a full season.”

Block party

While improved offensive consistency from Wesley Gordon would be a welcome sight for the Buffs, the redshirt junior from Colorado Springs already has asserted himself as one of the top interior defenders in CU history after just two season. Gordon enters the 2015-16 season already ranked 11th in career blocked shots (88) and 41st in total rebounds (419). Gordon (47) and Josh Scott (46) turned in the 10th and 11th best, respectively, singled season blocked shot totals in CU history a year ago.


“They travel well. Great atmosphere. The fan base is really good and they will travel.”

CU associate head coach Jean Prioleau, on the fan base for the Buffs’ opening opponent, Iowa State. Prioleau spent two seasons as an assistant for the Cyclones in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Numbers game

3 — Number of players in CU history who have collected at least 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 100 blocked shots, and 60 steals in his career, an elite club that counts senior forward Josh Scott among its members. Donnie Boyce and Andre Roberson round out that list.

Pat Rooney: or