By Nicholas Bernal
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
University of Colorado standout Alec Burks is having one of the best freshman seasons in school history. Despite flying under the recruiting radar, Burks has been very visible to all the teams that overlooked him as a prospect.
“He’s 6’6, he grew a couple inches since we signed him,” head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “He’s very long and very athletic and very talented—extremely talented. He can go make a play in a variety of ways. He understands the physical and intensity level at which this game is played at this level. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this, it’s up to both him and me for him to realize his potential and if he does he has a chance to be really special.”
“I think [the season] is going good,” Burks said. “I put a lot of hard work in during the offseason and now during the season and I feel like it’s paying off for me.”
Burks has scored in double-figures in every game this year except for one, and that was when the Buffs traveled to Ames, Iowa to play Iowa State and he was injured in the first two minutes of the game and did not return. Going into that game he was the only freshman to have accomplished that feat, and since returning after a one game absence, he has continued his impressive scoring.
“I feel great, “ Burks said. “It all goes back to that hard work. I do feel like I was a little under recruited and now I’m just showing everybody what they missed.”
Burks teams with junior Cory Higgins to make one of the more dynamic scoring backcourts in the conference, when asked why the two have been able to have so much success together Burks said it had to do with their relationship outside of basketball.
“We’re good friends off the court and I feel like the chemistry shows on the court. We just try to play together.”
Despite his close relationship with Cory, he says that a different teammate has helped him make such a smooth transition.
“I feel like Dwight Thorne II has helped me the most, him and Cory, but I’d say Dwight a little bit more," said Burks. "He plays my position, they both do, but he plays it more so he helps me out a lot. He’ll take me aside and tell me what I did wrong and help me to not do it again.”
One of the reasons that Burks chose to come to Colorado was head coach Jeff Bzdelik and his NBA experience. Bzdelik previously coached in the NBA, including some time as the Denver Nuggets head coach; Burks said that Bzdelik has been just what he was expecting when he signed with the Buffs.
“He’s helped me a lot, he’s an NBA coach and he’s really helped me out a lot," said Burks. "He’s helped me make the transition from high school to college and his pointers are really helping me get to where I want to be in life.”
With his freshman campaign coming to a conclusion and a few school records within reach, Burks maintains a team-first attitude when asked what his goals are for the remainder of the season.
“For myself I just want to keep going and doing what I’m doing, and for the team I just want to win games," said Burks. "That will make everything good, just winning games.”