Formann Making an Early Splash
LOS ANGELES – To say Colorado freshman Frida Formann has had a wild journey to start her collegiate career might be an understatement. The first-year guard from Denmark did not know if she would be able to get to Boulder for the start of the season, now she has become a fixture in the starting lineup for the Buffaloes.
Formann's initial plans were to join the Buffs in July, following her graduation from high school in June. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her plans changed drastically, and was not allowed in the country until the end of August. And then came the mandatory quarantine.
"It [the quarantine] was annoying, to be honest," Formman said back in September. "It helped me adjust to other things like school and being in a new place in general, the time difference and things like that before actually getting into practice. But I would have much rather gone straight into practice."
Typically, European players struggle early on with the adjustment to the American game. Formann is still working through some of those adjustments, but she's been pretty successful so far.
Formann put in 13 points in her collegiate debut against Western Colorado. She followed up with another 13-point performance against Air Force. Formann got her first career-start at Denver and proceeded to score 17 points. She did it again in CU's next outing against Utah, scoring another 17 points.
The Danish National Team star has started the Buffs' last five straight games and has scored in double figures in six-of her first-nine games. Formann is currently third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per game. Her 18 3-point field goals are 11 more than the next leading Buff, Mya Hollingshed.
There have been some growing pains.
Formann struggled at Oregon State, totaling just one point back in December. Recently, she was just 1-for-9 from the field and 0-for-7 from 3-point range against Washington. That didn't stop her. She bounced back with 14 points against Washington State, despite a 1-for-11 day from behind the arc.
"Frida honestly has never been known as a shooter," head coach JR Payne explained. "For us, she's by far our best shooter and has taken a lot of threes and done that, but she really is more of a scorer. She really can do a little bit of everything. I'm trying to be careful to not per in a box as a shooter because that's not what she is. She just happens to be our best shooter right now."
Formann, a natural point guard, has had to shift over in the lineup due to a clog at the position. Sophomore Jaylyn Sherrod and junior Lesila Finau have the nod from Coach Payne at the point, but Formann has forced herself into the lineup at shooting guard.
"She's always been a point guard," Payne added. "Even on her national team. It's just that with our youth and losing Emma Clarke from last year, who played a lot for us at the two, we just had to slide her in. If you think Jaylyn and Frida are our best guards you don't want them swapping minutes, you want them both on the floor."
Formann and the Buffaloes will get back on the court again on Monday. The team was set to play Friday at No. 9 UCLA but got word of the game's postponement before leaving for Los Angeles. The game against USC was originally set for Sunday but was moved to Monday.
Colorado (4-5, 2-4 Pac-12) has dropped its last two to the Trojans, playing back-to-back games last year to end the season. CU's last win against the Trojans came last year in Boulder (66-53, Jan. 10). Sherrod scored 10 points and had seven assists in the win.
Southern California (4-5, 2-5 Pac-12) held off Utah 60-59 on Friday. Three players scored in double figures led by Ednya Rogers (17) and Jordan Sanders (14). Sanders enters the game as one of the nation's top 3-point threats. She's ninth in the NCAA hitting 57.1 percent from 3-point range this season.
Monday's game is set for a 1 p.m. MT start. The game will be called by Anne Marie Anderson and Tammy Blackburn on the Pac-12 Networks. Cory Lopez and Carol Callan will have the call across the Colorado Radio Network (CUBuffs.com/Listen).