At the time, going through a redshirt year was almost torture for Wesley Gordon.
Looking back, the Colorado freshman is glad he did it.
The 6-foot-9 Gordon redshirted during the 2012-13 season and followed that up with a solid freshman season for the Buffaloes. This past year, Gordon averaged 5.9 points and 6.0 rebounds for the Buffs (23-12), while playing solid defense all season.
"Yeah (I'm glad)," he said of the redshirt season. "I probably wouldn't have been as successful last year because I probably wouldn't be able to guard the way I guard (now). My defense wouldn't have been there."
During his first season of college basketball, Gordon started 27 of the 31 games he played. He was a good rebounder and good enough defensively that his teammates voted him as the best defensive player on the squad.
"I didn't try to do too much; just tried to get a feel of things," he said. "I think I did all right."
Gordon proved to be a fairly consistent player for the Buffs. While his numbers may have wavered from game to game, the Buffs always knew his effort would be there and that his defense probably would, too.
Now, as the Buffs have started offseason workouts, Gordon's focus is on improving his game.
The Buffs already like a lot about Gordon's game, including the little things he does on offense (moving the ball, setting screens), but realize he can get a lot better.
"How good of a year he has in the offseason in the weight room is going to help his game," said CU assistant coach Mike Rohn, who works with Gordon and other forwards/centers on the team.
Gordon saw the benefits of added muscle this past season, as teammate and good friend Josh Scott improved dramatically after adding 20 pounds of muscle last offseason.
"Yeah, that motivates me just to show how good I can be if I put some weight on," Gordon said.
While Gordon works on toning up his body, he's going to be working on his mind, too.
Although he had some decent games scoring the ball, Gordon was, for the most part, not counted on to do much offensively. It wasn't for a lack of ability, though. Gordon's confidence in his offensive game wasn't there.
"I have all the tools to do things, I just don't have the confidence to do them in games," he said. "That's the difference between my defense and offense. If you put me on defense on somebody, I have more confidence in stopping somebody than I do scoring on somebody."
There were times when Gordon's offense did shine. At Washington in January, he made five of seven shots and finished with 11 points. He had 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting against Utah later in the season.
More often than not, however, Gordon took a backseat on offense.
"I think about missing (shots) a lot," he said. "I have to get that out of my head. I really just don't like missing. I feel like if I miss, that's a wasted possession."
Gordon proved to be a good passer from the post, but part of that stemmed from the fact that he didn't want to shoot. In 11 different games, he attempted three or fewer shots.
"If he misses a couple of shots, he's not going to shoot again," Rohn said. "He's got to get that (aggressive) mentality when he plays. He's got to get it."
If Gordon can add some confidence to his game on offense, he could be in for a huge year as a sophomore next season.
"He hasn't even scratched the surface on what he can do," Rohn said.