Every year, Tad Boyle comes into a season wondering how good the leadership will be on his team.
Ten games into the season, the Colorado men's basketball coach is pleased with that aspect of the squad.
"At this point in the year, I am (pleased)," Boyle said. "We haven't hit a lot of those (tough times yet), but that's when it's challenged. That's when you find out."
The 21st-ranked Buffaloes (9-1) have won nine in a row, including Saturday's 75-72 thriller against No. 13 Kansas. Boyle said he has seen leadership from several players during the first 10 games, in particular the four returning starters from last year: juniors Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker and sophomores Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson.
Booker said the team gets along well off the court, which has helped.
"I think (leadership) is not great yet, but it's rising every day," he said. "We're vocal, we're always communicating now."
In particular, Dinwiddie has risen up and taken on a leadership role more so than in the past. The star point guard was great throughout close wins against Colorado State and Kansas in electric atmospheres last week.
"Spencer has put the team on his back at times and I'm impressed," Booker said.
So is Boyle, who had hoped Dinwiddie would emerge as a leader.
"He's so much more vocal now," Boyle said. "You come to a practice, he's talking, you hear his voice. That wasn't the case when he was a freshman; it wasn't the case even last year so much. But, this year his voice is being heard."
After hitting the game-winning, last-second 3-pointer against Kansas, Booker said he received, "a lot of text messages and a lot of congratulations."
He also received Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. But, the junior guard said he can't get caught up in the attention. Rather, he wants his big game -- 15 points, 3-for-6 on 3-point shots -- to carry over to future games.
"I haven't had the best season yet, but I take that game as a game where I hope there's momentum," he said. "These past couple of days in practice, I've been trying to keep that momentum and playing with a lot of confidence. I think it's shown. Hopefully I can translate that to the game."
Forward Wesley Gordon is still day-to-day with an injury. He missed the game against Kansas after getting hurt late against Colorado State on Dec. 3. ... The Buffs will host the Elon Phoenix (5-4) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. ... Elon has won three in a row.