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Women’s basketball: Confident Frida Formann ready for third season with CU Buffs

University of Colorado's Frida Formann drives ...
Colorado’s Frida Formann drives on Adams State’s Harmanie Dominguez on Tuesday in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

There was no hesitation from Frida Formann in knocking down a 3-pointer just before halftime on Tuesday night in an exhibition win against Adams State.

There never has been hesitation from her in that regard, though. It was other parts of her game that night that stood out. A junior for the Colorado women’s basketball team, Formann scored in the paint while drawing a foul, hit another layup, dished out a pair of assists and snagged three rebounds.

It was a confident performance from one of the most veteran players on the Buffaloes’ roster.

“I feel great,” said Formann, a 5-foot-11 guard entering her third season with the Buffs. “I really have a lot of confidence in this team and in myself. I think I’m just a little more steady and consistent now and I think that’s a maturity thing, too.”

CU will officially open its season on Monday at 12 p.m. against New Mexico State at CU Events Center. For the Buffs to reach the NCAA Tournament for the second season in a row, they’ll need several players to step up, including Formann, who is showing signs of taking her game to another level.

A native of Denmark, Formann has played in 54 games (38 starts) during her two seasons with the Buffs, while averaging 9.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

As a freshman, she was a knock-down shooter from 3-point range (40.8%), averaged 12.4 points and earned honorable mention for the All-Pac-12 freshman team. Last year, she struggled more on her 3s (27.2%) and saw her overall numbers dip. She averaged 7.5 points and came off the bench during the second half of the season.

Coming into this year, though, Formann feels and looks like a better all-around player.

“I definitely think so and I felt that in the preseason, too, just knowing that I have a lot of things that I can contribute with,” she said. “One thing being just experience, but also just knowing where the opportunities are in everything we do.”

Formann came to CU with extensive international experience and a high basketball IQ, but has also gone through an adjustment to the American style of basketball. Although she’s always had all-around talent, Formann is showing it more now than in the past.

“I think Frida looks great,” head coach JR Payne said. “She’s very confident. I think she’s comfortable playing any position on the floor. She’s shooting the ball really well, she’s also comfortable off the bounce. She’s defending well, she’s moving well. I think she’s doing great.”

Payne said while the Buffs definitely need Formann’s 3-point ability, they’ve recruited others who fill that role, too, taking some pressure off Formann to be a long-range threat.

“She’s very much developing different parts and wants to be a three-level scorer and we need her to be that,” Payne said.

Formann said this past offseason was her first at CU in which she wasn’t nursing some sort of injury. This is also set to be her first season without any COVID interruptions or regulations. And, she’s simply more comfortable in the United States.

“It’s like a weird combination of still feeling like you’re getting into it but then also I feel very comfortable being here,” she said. “I feel very comfortable just living in Colorado. Now it feels like my home. And everything we do on the team is something that, like, I know all the whys. I think that helps so much once you’ve been here a long time that you can see what the coaches are seeing more.”

Formann spent part of her offseason playing in Denmark and she believes she’s incorporated the best of both styles of play into her game. And, she’s ready to be a leader for a Buffs team with NCAA Tournament aspirations.

“Being an upperclassman, it’s just fun because you know what’s going on all the time,” she said. “You just have a little more energy and a little more authority over what’s going on and I’ve really been enjoying that.

“I talked to coach JR before the season just about being more assertive. I’ve really been working on being more vocal, not caring too much if someone takes it the wrong way and I really love it. I really like being able to share what I see and give that experience onto our new players.”

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