The Colorado Buffaloes just capped off one of the University’s best men’s basketball regular-seasons in recent memory and, on Saturday, some special Buffs were honored for their achievements this season.
Colorado freshman Alec Burks was named the Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year Saturday night–this coming just hours after he set the Colorado freshman scoring record at 487, surpassing Richard Roby (480). Burks set the record during the Buffaloes 101-90 home victory against Texas Tech when he scored 24.
Burks had a stellar season as he helped lead the Buffs to a 15-15 record; he averaged a conference high for freshman 16.8 points per game, which ranked seventh overall in the conference. He also led the Big 12 in field goal percentage as he shot 53.6 percent from the field. Burks showed he was an intelligent freshman, taking smart shots and getting high percentage looks inside.
His absence was severely missed when he injured his back in the first minute of a road loss to Iowa State this year–he was unable to play the following home game against then #1 in the country, Kansas. It was a game the Buffs eventually lost in overtime in front of a highly enthused crowd and one had to believe that if Burks was healthy he would have given the Buffs the necessary lift to pull off what would have been a monumental upset.
Burks was also named to the All-Rookie Team and was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection.
Junior teammate Cory Higgins was selected to the All-Big 12 Third Team for the second consecutive year; he averaged 19 points per game, ranking him third in the conference. In the Big 12, one of the deepest conferences in the nation, it is quite an accomplishment for Higgins to be selected again, especially on a team in the bottom third of the conference.
Higgins also climbed his way into the Top-10 on the all-time scoring list for the Buffaloes. He scored 30 points in Saturday’s win as he continues to lead this Colorado team.
The Buffaloes will play Texas Tech again on Wednesday in the first round of the conference tournament. A win could mean an invitation to the NIT or CBI tournaments for the Buffaloes, who haven’t made a postseason tournament since the 2006 NIT.
The Buffs are the eighth seed in the Big 12 Tournament and Texas Tech is the ninth seed.