Arielle Roberson's injury motivates Colorado women's basketball
SAN FRANCISCO – The Colorado Buffaloes are finding motivation in the toughest of places. Leading scorer and rebounder Arielle Roberson tore her ACL prior to the season, but instead of feeling lost and searching for a new identity, coach Linda Lappe has her team entering the year inspired.
"I know what that feels like," said senior Jasmine Sborov, a senior who played in just 14 games last season because of a foot injury. "That was me last year. We can't take a day for granted or a practice for granted because she would be out there in a heartbeat if she could."
So here's what Colorado has: three motivated and experienced seniors in Sborov, Lexy Kresl and Jen Reese; a talented freshman in Brecca Thomas, who might fill in at point guard sooner rather than later; and a philosophy that doesn't change a whole lot with Roberson out of action.
"One of the strengths this year was going to be our balance anyway," Lappe said at 2014-15 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day.
Thomas received the most hype among the young players at Colorado during Wednesday's event. She might be on the fast track to taking over many of the point guard minutes, though Kresl's ability to play at both guard spots helps "buy her some time," as Lappe puts it. Thomas' development is benefitting from the addition of former WNBA point guard and USA Basketball administrator Jamie Carey to the coaching staff.
Sborov, meanwhile, said her time watching from the bench during her own injury last year helped her develop a leader's voice. The Buffaloes will again have to overcome a obstacle related to injury, but they enter the season with a forward-thinking mindset and confidence that the pieces will fill in for Roberson.
"I really admire how the rest of our players have stepped up and really played inspired," Lappe said. "I think Arielle has a lot to do with that."