Askia Booker chooses not to play for Colorado in the CBI

Askia Booker chooses not to play for Colorado in the CBI

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Many teams have passed on the chance to play in the third-tier College Basketball Invitational tournament the past few years.

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Now an individual player has also declined.

Colorado senior guard Askia Booker informed coach Tad Boyle he doesn't want to participate in the CBI after the Buffaloes accepted a bid on Sunday. The rest of the team is practicing without its leading scorer in preparation for an opening-round game Wednesday night against Gardner-Webb.

"I did mention to Ski, 'You realize you're going to take some heat with this decision,' and he shook his head like he understood," Boyle told the Denver Post. "It goes with the territory. Ski's a big boy, he's an adult now; he's going to be a college graduate in May."

While Boyle insists he accepts Booker's decision and holds no grudge, the Colorado coach also did not go out of his way to defend his former player either. Boyle only told the Post the decision was Booker's choice and that the 6-foot-2 California native should be the one to explain it.

One potential rationale for Booker's decision is that he wants to give the sore hips he has been dealing with time to heal before beginning preparation for a potential pro career. Another is that Booker views the CBI as a chance for Colorado to start building toward next season and doesn't want to take playing time away from younger teammates.

If either of those were the real explanation, however, Colorado surely would have portrayed his decision as an unselfish act rather than insinuating that he has quit on his team. Furthermore, in one of those scenarios, Booker could still attend practice to play on the scout team or merely to advise and encourage his younger teammates.

A handful of Booker's teammates insisted to the Post that they respect Booker's decision, but social media not surprisingly has not been as kind.

Booker averaged a team-best 17.2 points per game this season for a Colorado squad lacking other perimeter scoring options, but his shot selection came under heavy fire. Many felt that 38.7 percent shooting played a big role in the Buffs finishing 15-17 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-12 after being projected to finish as high as third in the league before the season.

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!