Stalzer a Surprising Key to Success for Buffs

Andrew Rodriguez, Contributor

Eli Stalzer was only a 2 star recruit out of high school. His signing was unheralded. Many thought he would have trouble cracking Tad Boyle’s rotation. But he has already had a big impact on the team and will be a key player down the road for the Buffaloes. He has shown leadership not usually seen from freshman and has also excelled at point guard controlling the pace of play of the Buffs.

In high school, he ran the offense of one of the best high school teams in the nation (Mater Dei). Their lineup included multiple top 100 players and he was overshadowed by talented players like Xavier and Stanley Johnson. But he still put up solid numbers as a player on the team who wasn’t expected to score much at all. He averaged 6 PPG, 2 APG, and 1 SPG in his senior year at Mater Dei and he led his team to a 34-2 record and a California state championship.

It seems as if whenever the Buffs have gotten out of control, Stalzer has come in and taken control of the flow of the game and the Buffs offense. Having a freshman who is able to do that is critical for any basketball team and Tad Boyle must be excited at the prospect of having him for four years (as he is expected to not go pro). He moves well without the ball and has a very nice mid range and three-point jump shot (he’s shooting 63% from three point land this season). So far his defense has been very impressive and Stalzer seems to make improvements from game to game.

Every great college basketball team needs a player like him. A player who works hard, hustles for every loose ball, and is fundamentally sound. In essence, a scrappy player. And only seven games into the season, it is clear that the Buffs have that in Eli Stalzer.