Fan favorite Alex Strating has found a home for his final season.
The former Colorado forward has decided to use his extra season of eligibility granted by the NCAA for the pandemic season and will spend the 2021-22 campaign with Missouri S&T, a Division II program in Rolla, Missouri.
It will be Strating’s sixth season of college basketball, as the lengthy arc of his Buffaloes career began as a freshman walk-on during the 2016-17 season.
“The reason I’m going there is because it’s a really good school, and their staff has a really good relationship with the staff at CU,” Strating said. “It’s a technical school, which I really like. So I’m going to be doing my MBA there. There’s a certificate within the MBA that’s blockchain-specific. I think blockchains are exciting.
“I’m a competitive guy, so I just want to help the team win in whatever capacity that is.”
After redshirting as a true freshman, Strating averaged just 1.1 points in 59 games over four seasons, but he won over Buffs fans with his selfless approach and team-first grit. And despite his minimal playing time, Strating nonetheless authored a few memorable moments.
The best stretch of his career occurred late in the 2018-19 season, as the Buffs put together a 12-4 run that included an appearance in the Pac-12 Conference semifinals and ended in the NIT quarterfinals. With the Buffs missing three pieces of their expected rotation — Dallas Walton, Namon Wright, and Deleon Brown — head coach Tad Boyle often turned to Strating for spot minutes. Strating usually delivered.
In a home win against Oregon State that began that run, Starting made both his shot attempts and grabbed two rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. He went 2-for-2 in seven minutes three weeks later against Washington State and also came up big in the postseason, going 4-for-6 with a career-high 10 points in a quarterfinal-round win against Oregon State in the Pac-12 tournament. During the Buffs’ two home wins against Dayton and Norfolk State in the NIT, Strating went a combined 5-for-7 with 11 points and five rebounds.
Strating shared rosters with three eventual NBA draft picks — Derrick White, George King, and Tyler Bey — as well as CU all-time assists leader McKinley Wright IV, who will participate in the 2021 NBA Draft Combine next week in Chicago.
“I think the biggest memories that will stick with me are non-basketball memories, just because we had such a great group of guys here and I made so many lifelong friends here,” Strating said. “Just hanging out in the locker room after practice, everyone’s kind of dead and everyone’s tired, but we’re just kind of messing around. Those are my favorite memories.”
Strating didn’t score in 24 minutes (10 appearances) as a fifth-year senior this past season, and his move to the Division II level seemingly will open the door to more playing time. Missouri S&T went 4-16 this past year in the second season under head coach Bill Walker.
“It was really cool for me to see Colorado basketball change for the better from when I was young,” Strating said. “CU was just a really exciting school for me when I was getting recruited, because it was great academically and it was great basketball-wise. I just wanted to do everything I could to be part of that.”