Dufault is a true intangibles guy for Buffs

Austin Dufault and the Colorado men’s basketball team are one win away from playing in the National Invitational Tournament Final Four. The Buffaloes host Kent State at 7 p.m. today. Here is a little bit of what I learned from watching Dufault, a Killdeer High School graduate and former North Dakota Mr. Basketball winner, after watching the team play on TV last week…

I was able to watch the first half of the Colorado’s NIT game against California on Friday night and I tend to agree with what Buffaloes coach Tad Boyle told me during last week’s interview — Austin Dufault is not a numbers guy. But, he’s doing other things on the court that you don’t see unless you’re only watching him.

Dufault made some nice jump shots and pulled down some good rebounds, but that’s not where he excels. It’s what he does that doesn’t count on the stat sheet — boxing out, setting screens on pick-and-rolls for standout guard and possible future NBA Lottery pick Alec Burks, making hustle plays on defense and doing all the “intangible” things that coaches love to talk about.

He was held scoreless in the Buffs’ NIT opener against Texas Southern, but responded with his season averages of 7 points and 4 rebounds as he helped the team win its school-record 23rd game with a 89-72 victory over California.

Dufault talked about not scoring against Texas Southern and how he tried to respond against Cal during the press conference following Friday’s game.

“I just haven’t been playing well lately,” Dufault said. “Tonight I wanted to come out and be more aggressive. I had been being kind of passive lately on both end of the floor. That’s how I was picking up a lot of fouls. (Cal forward Harper) Kamp was my assignment tonight; I focused on him the first half, playing tough defense on him and being aggressive on the other end.”

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