While the NCAA tournament receives the lion’s share of the attention (and rightfully so), there are four postseason tournaments in college basketball. One of those is the CBI, a 16-team event that certainly flies under the radar and home teams have to pay to host games. One of the teams playing in this year’s CBI is Colorado, which will host Gardner-Webb despite having a losing record on the season.
And the Buffaloes will be without two members of their rotation, as sophomore forward Dustin Thomas has elected to transfer and senior guard Askia Booker has decided to not participate. The Buffaloes open CBI play with a home game against Gardner-Webb Wednesday night.
News of Booker’s decision was first reported by Brian Howell of the Boulder Daily Camera Sunday evening.
“That’s his choice,” Colorado head coach Tad Boyle said. “I accept it and we’re going to move forward. It’s an opportunity for other guys to step up and show what they can do and improve themselves and hopefully do it over a period of time.”
Boyle didn’t give a reason for Booker’s decision, but it’s been well documented that the 6-foot-2 guard has been playing with sore hips the past few weeks. Booker also has aspirations of playing professionally, so this may be an opportunity for him to rest up before training for a possible pro career.
Taking into consideration Booker’s recent health issues, the decision makes some sense. And with all due respect to the CBI, it’s very difficult to see this decision being made had the Buffaloes played well enough to land in a more prestigious postseason event.
Booker is the lone scholarship senior on this year’s team, so playing without him will give the guards who are expected to be back next season (most notably freshman Dominique Collier) additional time on the court. Colorado played a little less than half of last season without Spencer Dinwiddie, who tore his ACL in a game at Washington, but that experience did not help this year’s team with injuries and inconsistency among the issues.
Both Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott missed time this season, and they’ll be key pieces for Colorado in 2015-16.