Colorado's Xavier Talton connected on 31-of-34 free-throw attempts this season.
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Colorado’s Xavier Talton connected on 31-of-34 free-throw attempts this season.

It is a group responsible for 80 wins (and counting) and a likely third NCAA tournament berth in four seasons. A look at the four seniors, three of which are Colorado natives, set to be honored Sunday before the Colorado Buffaloes’ final home game of the season.

G Brett Brady

The senior walk-on from Highlands Ranch is counting down the remaining days he has to continue donning the Colorado Buffaloes jersey. However, his college basketball career is not yet over.

After careful consideration, Brady has decided to use his remaining year of eligibility elsewhere as a graduate transfer, which would make him eligible immediately even if he remains at the Division I level.

“I’ve had a great time here but it kind of felt like time to move on,” Brady said. “I figured maybe I’d try to go play somewhere while I get a teaching certificate.”

Head coach Tad Boyle has repeatedly lauded Brady’s work ethic and keen 3-point shot that always gives the first-team defense fits during practice. Brady has appeared in a career-best eight games this season but has played just once since Dec. 19.

F Josh Scott

The numbers will be there for future generations of Buffaloes to strive toward. Yet Scott’s development into a genuine team leader, the sort of authority figure that can police a locker room and both encourage and reprimand teammates at practice, was perhaps the biggest improvement to his game as a senior.

“One thing for me this year is that if you have the experience, you have to share those experiences,” Scott said. “One of the best teachers in life is experience in general, and some of these younger guys may not have had that. But also being willing to be firm and maybe not be your guy’s favorite guy at the moment if you have to get on someone, but I’ve tried to be vocal about everything.”

Of course, Scott’s numbers have spoken the loudest. CU’s leading scorer and rebounder for the second time in three seasons, Scott enters his final home game ranked ninth on CU’s all-time scoring list (1,638), fifth in total rebounds (932), second in made free throws (481), 10th in made field goals (576), third in blocked shots (157), and seventh in double-doubles (34).

G Eli Stalzer

The Southern California native found himself in the unenviable position this season of facing less playing time as a senior than previous seasons.

Stalzer handled the situation like a true pro.

“You definitely get nostalgic looking back at four years,” Stalzer said. “I’m just enjoying it while it lasts. Of course you always want to play, but I always considered myself a team player, whether I play or don’t. As long as I’m helping the team somehow then I’m doing my job.”

Stalzer appeared in 25 games as a freshman and 27 the following year but has played in just 26 games since — including only seven this year. Yet it hasn’t fazed Stalzer, an accomplished pianist who has provided an invaluable presence at practice while pursuing a music degree.

“There’s not too many guys that have come through Colorado basketball and gotten their degree in music,” Boyle said. “He’s a really talented young man beyond basketball.”

G Xavier Talton

By his own admission, Talton suffered through a discouraging junior season. He successfully vowed to make certain that didn’t happen as a senior, providing an otherwise youthful contingent of guards with solid leadership.

“You’re not always going to make shots, but you can win basketball games in other ways,” said Talton, who led Sterling High School to the Class 4A state title as a junior in 2011. “I’ve just come out and tried to play the best that I can. That’s all coach asks of us. To be able to do that has been great.”

Talton has put together a remarkable season at the free throw line, connecting on 31-of-34 attempts, while also reaching career-highs in assists (58) and steals (23). Yet some of his biggest contributions this year were not readily apparent in box scores, such as his from-his-back assist at Washington State that sparked a game-clinching run down the stretch.

“He’s had his ups and downs like everyone on this team, but the thing about Xavier Talton in the last six to eight weeks is he’s been dialed-in,” Boyle said. “You can see it in shootaround. You can see it in scouting reports. You can see it in film sessions. You can see it in practice and see it in games. That’s what he’s brought, that mental stability to a team that really needs it.”

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