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Colorado men’s basketball all-time roster: CU Buffs legends

Last August, we brought you the best Colorado Buffaloes football players of all-time and now, it’s time for the men’s basketball greats to shine.

Although 2022-23 has been a down season for the program, we are arguably still in the golden era of Colorado men’s basketball. Since the start of the early 2010s, the Buffs have produced several seasons of at least 20 wins and have made the NCAA Tournament five times.

Beyond the current iteration of the team, CU has had a ton of talent roll through Boulder.

We looked through the greatest teams in the nearly 125-year history of Colorado men’s basketball to give you our all-time roster:

Head coach: Tad Boyle, 2010-present

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Tad Boyle, the current head coach and the program’s new all-time career wins leader, is the only choice to lead the charge. Boyle has totaled nine 20-plus win seasons in Boulder, more than double what the program had produced prior (four).

Head coach honorable mention: Forrest "Frosty" Cox, 1936-1950

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Forrest Cox was the first highly-successful coach in the school’s history. Cox led what might be the best team in school history, as his 1940 squad was invited to both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT. The Buffaloes accepted the NIT bid, which was more prestigious at the time, and beat DePaul in the finals, leading some to claim them as the national champions.

Head coach honorable mention: Russell "Sox" Walseth, 1956-1976

Courtesy of University of Colorado athletics

Russell “Sox” Walseth spent a lot of time in Boulder. Both a former player and head coach of the men’s and women’s teams, the CU Events Center court is named in his honor. Sox led CU to three Big 8 titles as well as three trips to the NCAA Tournament.

He would later coach the women’s team for four seasons where they were undefeated at home during his tenure at 43-0.

Starting guard: Chauncey Billups, 1995-1997

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Where else can we start besides the state of Colorado’s own Chauncey Billups? “Mr. Big Shot” is arguably the best player in program history, leading the Buffaloes to heights they hadn’t seen in a long time.

Billups led the Buffs to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 28 seasons during his sophomore season and powered the Buffaloes to an upset of Indiana in the opening game of the tourney. Billups was later drafted third overall in the 1997 NBA draft and led the Detroit Pistons to an NBA title.

Starting guard: Jay Humphries, 1980-1984

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Jay Humphries was a two-way star at CU who gives our all-time squad a lockdown wing defender. Humphries still holds the school’s all-time record for most steals, and he led the country in steals in 1982-83, racking up 115. Don’t let the defensive numbers fool you, Humphries was also quite the offensive talent, finishing his college career as the program’s all-time assists leader and was fourth all-time in scoring at the time of his graduation.

Starting guard: Donnie Boyce, 1991-1995

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Donnie Boyce was a dynamic scorer during his time at CU, racking up 1,995 career points during his time as a Buffalo. Boyce was one of only three players in Colorado history to lead the team in scoring every year he played.

The dynamic guard would also hold many other records at the time of his graduation, including games started (107), field goals attempted (1,648), free throws made (480) and free throws attempted (721).

Starting forward: Cliff Meely, 1968-1971

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One of only two men’s players to have their number retired at the University of Colorado, Cliff Meely was a superstar during his time in Boulder. A great scorer, Meely still holds the scoring record for most points in a game (47) and has the second-most points in a season (729). He still ranks highly in career points scored (1,940) and rebounds (971) as well.

Starting forward: Burdette Haldorson, 1951-1955

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The other player to have his jersey number retired at CU, Burdette “Burdie” Haldorson dominated both as a Buff and as a member of the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team. An absolute glass cleaner at CU, Haldorson still holds the mark for most rebounds in a game with 31. Burdie would go on to win two gold medals for the 1956 and 1960 U.S. Olympic teams.

Backup guard: McKinley Wright IV, 2017-2021

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Though he only ended his CU career less than two years ago, McKinley Wright IV deserves a spot on this team for his stellar play with the Buffs. The first player ever to achieve 1,800 points, 600 assists and 600 rebounds in Pac-12 history, Wright was also named first-team All-Pac-12 three times while also being named to the conference’s all-defensive team (2020) and all-freshman (2018) team.

Backup guard: Spencer Dinwiddie, 2011-2014

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A perfect combo guard/forward for our bench, Spencer Dinwiddie did a bit of everything. During a breakout sophomore season, Dinwiddie led the team in assists as the starting small forward while earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors. His junior season was cut short due to injury, but he still helped the Buffs to a 14-2 record and a top-15 ranking.

Backup forward: Andre Roberson, 2010–2013

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

You need a defensive ace off the bench for any great basketball team and nothing screams defense more than Andre Roberson. Roberson was the only player in school history to have at least 1,000 points and rebounds, 150 blocks, 150 steals and 100 assists. Roberson made life miserable for anyone he guarded and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 while also being a first-team All-Pac-12 performer in 2012 and 2013.

Backup center: Josh Scott, 2012–2016

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Josh Scott was a great post scorer at CU, joining Cliff Meely as the only player to have at least 1,700 career points, 1,000 rebounds and 100 blocked shots. Scott was a two-time All-Pac-12 first-team performer (2014 and 2016) and was part of the 2016 all-defensive team as well.

Backup center: David Harrison, 2001-2004

AP Photo/J.Pat Carter)

David Harrison gives our squad a big man who controlled the paint on defense. Harrison is the program’s leader in blocks for a game with 11, blocks in a season with 106 (he is also second with 85) and in a career with 225.

The 7-foot, 250-pound Harrison had two triple-doubles during his sophomore season, one of which being a 31-point, 17-rebound and 11-block night against Stetson on Nov. 24, 2002.

Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire