Tyler Bey eyeing breakout season for CU Buffs men’s basketball

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Colorado's Tyler Bey finished last season averaging 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds. Go to BuffZone.com for more photos

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Colorado's Tyler Bey looks to impact the game on both sides of the court this season.




The goals, according to Tyler Bey are simple. And they are numbers any player — from an up-and-coming talent like Bey to a wily old veteran — would take in a heartbeat.

“Twenty and 10,” Bey said with a smile, half-jokingly referring to the double-double he hopes to produce every night this season for the Colorado men’s basketball team.

It is a lofty standard, no doubt, and obviously one Bey is unlikely to reach every game. Yet those figures nonetheless are statistics Bey figures to approach far more frequently as a sophomore in 2018-19. As the Buffaloes met local reporters on Wednesday during the program’s annual media day at the CU Events Center, they did so with an air of confidence as a young team eager, and expecting, to take the next step — even as the players came to grips with the news of Dallas Walton’s season-ending knee injury.

Among the cast of sophomores attempting to make significant improvements over their freshman seasons, the hyper-athletic Bey has perhaps the best opportunity to impact every game for the Buffs at both ends of the floor.

“Whatever I’ve got to do for this team to win, that’s what I’m going to do,” Bey said. “Whether that’s rebounding, playing defense, and that’s without scoring. I don’t need to score to help this team win.”

While sophomore point guard McKinley Wright remains on the cusp of potential stardom and Evan Battey, technically a redshirt freshman, could be a breakout star, Bey arguably has the highest ceiling among any of the members of CU’s promising 2017 recruiting class.

The 6-foot-7 small forward out of Las Vegas overcame a slow start to his freshman season to emerge as one of the Buffs’ most dependable two-way players. Bey finished the season averaging 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds, but those overall numbers were slightly better in Pac-12 Conference play (7.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg).

Bey recorded two of those double-doubles he expects to produce more frequently this season, collecting 14 points and 11 rebounds at home against Washington before putting together a stellar 14-point, 10-rebound effort in a win against Arizona State in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. His .503 field goal percentage was the top mark among CU’s regular rotation.

After bulking up during the offseason — Bey was listed at 206 pounds a year ago but checks in at 218 to start his sophomore season — head coach Tad Boyle is eager to see that work in action on the floor.

“Tyler is a guy who has worked extremely hard on his game,” Boyle said. “He’s had as good of an offseason, and I’m talking about the spring and the summer, as any player that I’ve coached in 25 years. He’s really made great strides. Physically, he has gotten stronger in the weight room.

“One thing we know about Tyler is he’s extremely athletic. He can make plays just physically that other players can’t make. What I want to see him make is that jump from a mental standpoint of consistency and focus on the floor, and being an everyday, every-possession type player. He had flashes of brilliance as a freshman. Now, can he make that a consistent thing as a sophomore. That’s going to be the challenge for him, but he’s capable of it.”

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