Freshman Josh Scott’s emergence in Europe makes Colorado more dangerous

If one of the primary purposes of Colorado's exhibition tour of Europe was to determine which of the freshmen were ready for the big stage, then Josh Scott has certainly nailed his audition.

Scott, a 6-foot-10 forward from nearby Monument, Colo., has been the Buffaloes' leading scorer in three of the four games so far. He has averaged 17 points per game in Colorado's first four games against teams in Belgium and the Netherlands, a stretch highlighted by a 24-point outburst on Sunday against Belgian pro team Gembo BBC.

The production from Scott is a welcome sign for a Colorado team that is well-stocked with returners on the perimeter but unproven in the paint.

Askia Booker, a 6-foot sophomore who averaged 9.1 points as a sixth man last season, will play off the ball and sweet-shooting fellow sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie will primarily run the point. They'll benefit from the return of 6-foot-7 Andre Roberson, a scary-athletic forward who averaged a double-double last season and was among the Pac-12's most versatile defenders.

Of Colorado's decorated six-man freshman class, the most likely to contribute right away appears to be Scott, the best high school player in the state last year and's No. 61 player nationally in the class of 2012. Scott has an opportunity to slide into the starting lineup right away if the coaching staff feels he's most capable of replacing the production of graduated big man Austin Dufault.

Scott's strengths in high school were his ability to score. He has an impressive back-to-the-basket repertoire and he can put the ball down and get to the rim, though he needs to get stronger and his outside shooting remains a work in progress.

With an underclassmen-heavy starting lineup and a freshman-dominated bench, Colorado would appear to be a year away from contending in the Pac-12 and making a real impact nationally. Still, with the Pac-12 in flux and with young players like Scott looking more prepared than expected, the Buffaloes will be dangerous enough next season that they shouldn't be overlooked.

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