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CU Buffs men’s basketball notes: Freshman Jabari Walker quickly making big impact

Pac-12 releases another round of tip times, TV info

BOULDER, CO - Dec. 16, 2020: ...
BOULDER, CO – December 16, 2020: Colorado’s Jabari Walker drives on Omaha’s Devin Hayes.The Colorado Buffaloes played the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in Boulder on December 16, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Jabari Walker just missed posting the first double-double of his very new Colorado basketball career.

Given how aggressively and confidently the freshman forward has played through the season’s first five games, it probably won’t be long before Walker checks a double-double off his personal to-do list.

Walker played just under 16 minutes during Wednesday’s rout of Omaha, and to paraphrase a favorite saying of head coach Tad Boyle, Walker made the most of those minutes. Walker finished with season-highs of 15 points and nine rebounds while continuing to knock down free throws like a veteran, going 6-for-7 against the Bears.

“All five of those (rebounds) were on the defensive end,” Boyle said. “What I’d like to see is I’d like to see Jabari with at least two or three offensive rebounds. Because he’s a guy who just has a nose for the ball. You can’t teach that. He’s got it. He plays with unbelievable energy and effort. He has 15 and nine in 15 minutes.”

Walker improved to 17-for-19 (.895) on the young season at the free throw line. Walker leads the team in free throw attempts despite ranking ninth in minutes played.

“Jabari kind of imposes his will on the game,” Boyle said. “He plays with a great motor. I told our guys I want them to be selfish in one aspect of the game, and that’s rebounds. I want guys going after rebounds and Jabari does that. He’s fouling a little bit too much, but he’s learning what this game’s all about and how it’s played. He’s going to be a great player at Colorado. And his teammates love playing with him.”

Tip times

On Thursday, the Pac-12 Conference announced the television information for the remainder of the Pac-12 schedule while also revealing tipoff times through mid-January.

Of their 19 scheduled Pac-12 games (the makeup date against Washington State still hasn’t been settled), the Buffs will appear on one of the ESPN networks 10 times, beginning with the New Year’s Eve date at USC that begins at 7 p.m. MT and will air on ESPN2.

CU’s first Pac-12 home game against Oregon on Jan. 7 will air on Fox Sports1, and the tipoff time will either be 7 p.m. or 9 p.m. The remainder of the games on that four-game homestand — Oregon State (Jan. 9, 3 p.m.), Cal (Jan. 13, 7 p.m.), and Stanford (Jan. 16, 1 p.m.)  – will air on Pac-12 Networks.

Daniels on defense

For the second time this season, senior Maddox Daniels logged significant minutes in a game in which his outside shot wasn’t falling.

Daniels went 1-for-8 overall against UNC and 1-for-5 on 3-pointers, yet an improved ability to get into opposing players defensively has kept Daniels’ playing time steady despite a 5-for-19 mark on 3-pointers.

“He’s taken it upon himself to take some pride at that (defensive) end of the floor,” Boyle said. “We know Maddox is a good shooter. As long as he’s taking good shots, I’m fine with him. His teammates want him to take good shots. I want him to take good shots, and open shots.

“I thought Maddox was terrific (against UNC). He made a defensive play in the first half, helping the helper, that he wouldn’t have made a year ago. He’s gotten to be a more willing and active defender. That’s one of the reasons our defense right now I think is playing pretty well and has pretty much the five games that we’ve played. We’re going to need it on Sunday (against Washington).“