Dallas Walton didn't expect the Pac-12 to delay the start of basketball season

Henry Chisholm Avatar
August 25, 2020

BOULDER — When Colorado basketball head coach Tad Boyle was asked what he felt about the Pac-12’s decision to cancel all competitions through the end of 2020, he kept his answer short.

“Shock and disbelief,” Boyle said.

Now, two weeks later, we know that it wasn’t just the coach who was surprised that the conference decided to cancel basketball games three months before the season was set to begin.

Dallas Walton—a senior center who figures to play a key part in the next Buffs’ season, whenever that may be—told reporters on Thursday that he felt the same way.

“We knew that football would probably be affected but we weren’t anticipating ourselves to be affected,” Walton said. “It was something that we had to take in and adjust to just like everybody has been adjusting to things all year. There was some disappointment for sure but we’ve just gotta stay ready.”

With the start of the season already postponed, responsibility off the court will become even more important for Colorado. The Buffs’ basketball program is yet to record a positive case of COVID-19, but all it takes is a handful of programs with breakouts to push the Pac-12 to extend the season’s suspension even further.

“We come to college to learn to go from being basically kids to young adults so that professionalism that is usually required over time, the younger guys have to get it a lot quicker while the older guys have to maintain it,” Walton said. “I am not saying they should just shut off and be in their room by themselves, but when they leave the house, they have to carry themselves in a very respectable way.”

As it stands now, Colorado is primed for another run at a Pac-12 title. Tyler Bey left CU to enter the NBA Draft and seniors Shane Gatling and Lucas Siewert saw their eligibility expire at the end of last season, but a couple of key additions in Tulsa transfer Jeriah Horne and some true freshmen should be enough for the Buffs to compete in the Pac-12.

“Once we were able to get in the gym with them and interact with them, I found that all of them are good guys,” Walton said. “All of them have the perfect work ethic that is in line with our culture.”

That’s some welcome good news from Walton.

So what’s next for Buffs hoops?

“We just have to stay ready,” Walton said. “That is what Coach Boyle and our coaching staff has been emphasizing to us.”

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