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Sustainable Excellence Initiative
By: Joel Broida
Askia Booker was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time.
Booker Pac-12 Player of the Week; CU No. 21 Nationally
Release: December 09, 2013
By: Andrew Green, Assistant SID

BOULDER – University of Colorado junior guard Askia Booker was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.

Booker’s second career conference player of the week nomination comes on the heels of the Buffaloes making the Associated Press Top-25 poll for the first time this season as the No. 21 ranked team. The men also received 42 votes in the Coaches’ Poll and are slotted at the No. 27 team overall.

Booker helped CU upset then-No. 6/6 Kansas, 75-72 last Saturday, launching the game-winner with a 30-footer as time expired to keep the Buffaloes unbeaten at home (7-0). The victory also matched their longest winning streak since the 2005-06 season with nine wins in a row.

The junior guard from Los Angeles, tied for team-high honors against KU with 15 points, three rebounds and a steal. In addition to his game-winner, Booker also made pair of three-pointers to keep pace with the sixth ranked team in the country. With 3:39 remaining in the game, Booker gave the home team a six-point lead, then when the first half ended, hit his first trey of the game pushing CU to a 33-30 lead at the break. It’s the third time that Booker has made three treys in a game this season.

Earlier in the week, the Buffs won at Colorado State for the first time since 2007 with a 67-62 victory. Booker iced the game with 3 seconds remaining with a pair of free throws (12 points overall). It is Colorado’s fourth player of the week honor all-time since joining the Pac-12. 

As team, it’s the first time the Buffaloes are ranked nationally since last season when they were the No. 19 ranked team in both polls on Nov. 26. They made their initial Top-25 breakthrough as the No. 23 ranked team on Nov. 19 when they started the season 6-0 en route to the Charleston Classic championship last November.

It’s also marks the first time since the end of the 1996-97 season that both CU men’s and women’s basketball programs are ranked at the same time. The men were ranked in the final AP Top-25 at No. 24, while the women ended that season No. 15 in the Coaches’ and No. 18 in the AP.

This season, the CU women are No. 11 in the latest AP poll for the second consecutive week.

“It’s nice for our University, the program and players that we are recognized as one of the elite teams in the country,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “But we aren’t going to get carried away with it.  Just like we won’t be disappointed if we’re not in it. College basketball is different than college football in that polls don’t matter at the end of the day.  I put more stock in RPI because the RPI doesn’t care who you are, it’s based on who you’ve played, strength of schedule, to me that’s more of a true indication, it’s less arbitrary."

Ironically, it’s the second time in as many seasons the Buffaloes have entered the Top-25 when Booker was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week. Last season, Booker was named the MVP of the Charleston Classic after averaging 19.3 points, 3.0 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.3 rebounds per game, helping the Buffs knock off Dayton, No. 16 Baylor and Murray State in four days.

Prior to last season, the CU men were last ranked in the Coaches’ Poll during the 2005-2006 campaign as the No. 25 team in back-to-back weeks (Jan. 30-Feb. 5; Feb. 6-12).

It’s only the second time the Buffs have been ranked before the start of conference play in 44 years, since a showing on the Dec. 30, 1969 poll, coming in at No. 20. Overall, it is the 34th time the Buffs have appeared in the AP rankings. CU’s highest ranking came on Dec. 18, 1963, coming in at No. 6.

Colorado (9-1) looks for its 10th straight win this Friday, Dec. 13 against Elon at the Coors Events Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. (MST). The Phoenix won 21 games last season and finished first in the Southern Conference Northern Division. This season, Elon (5-4) returns all five starters from a year ago and have won three-straight games.

Elon tickets start at $10. There’s also a Three-Game Holiday Plan available for Georgia (Dec. 28), Oregon State (Jan. 2) and Oregon (Jan. 5) starting at $30 for youth and seniors, $45 for adults. 

CU All-Time in AP Polls
• CU has been ranked in 34 polls all-time.
• A top 10 ranking nine times.
• Highest ranking was No. 6, Dec. 18, 1963, the third poll of that season.
• Consecutive weeks ranked: 10 – last 7 polls of 1969, first three of 1970; in one season - 8; last 8 polls of the 1997 season.
• Most times ranked in one season – 8 in 1997; 7 in 1969; 6 in 1963.
• The AP poll was 20 teams from 1949-60, 10 teams from 1961-68 and back to 20 from 1969-1989, then 25 since 1990.

Season Poll#         Date            Rank
1953          2            Dec. 23           18
1955       Final        Mar. 8              15
1961         2            Dec. 20            15
1962        10           Feb. 20             9
1962        11           Feb. 27             9
1962      Final         Mar. 13             9
1963          2            Dec. 11            8
1963          3            Dec. 18            6
1963          9            Jan. 29             8
1963         10           Feb. 5              7
1963         11           Feb. 12            7
1963       Final         Mar. 12           10
1969           7            Jan. 14           20
1969           8            Jan. 21           17
1969           9            Jan. 28           17
1969         10           Feb. 4              20
1969         11           Feb. 11           14
1969         12           Feb. 18           18
1969         Final      Mar. 4              18
1970         Pre         N/A                  10
1970           1            Dec. 9            17
1970           2           Dec. 16           16
1970           4           Dec. 30           20
1997         10          Jan. 21            18
1997         11           Jan. 28           18
1997         12           Feb. 4             15
1997         13           Feb. 11           15
1997         14           Feb. 18           21
1997         15           Feb. 25           19
1997         16           Mar. 4             18          
1997         Final      Mar. 11            24
2012          3             Nov. 19          23
2012          4             Nov. 26          19
2013          6             Dec.   9           21


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