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Colorado freshmen Assane Diop and Bangot Dak staying focused amid stretch run

The Colorado men’s basketball team (17-9, 8-7 Pac-12) currently sits on the outside of most NCAA Tournament projections. With five games left before the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, freshmen Assane Diop and Bangot Dak have stayed ready and looking to help the Buffs in any way possible.

Diop and Dak have had an average season in comparison to most other Division I freshmen, finding minimal opportunity in their first seasons with a veteran college team. Diop has averaged 1.5 points and one rebound per game in 25 contests, and Dak is sitting with 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in only 13 games played.

“Coming to college humbled me,” Diop said. “No matter how good you are, what (your) ranking (was), doesn’t matter. It doesn’t. You have to start a new life to try to get to the top again.”

Still, Dak and Diop have had their moments this season in place of injured players. With head coach Tad Boyle trying to find a consistent eighth man while staying prepared for any potential injuries, the two freshmen have stayed focused on improving their game.

“Individually, I’m just trying to get better,” Dak said. “Here and there in the weight room, getting up shots — all that just to stay ready on the court. I know I’m not getting a lot of minutes right now, but anything could happen, so I just got to stay ready.”

While they’re aware that consistent minutes aren’t guaranteed, Diop and Dak will continue to work hard in hopes of proving themselves when given the opportunity.

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Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire