Big man Joe Hurlburt ready to get started with CU men’s basketball – BuffZone
Boulder is certainly not just a dot on the map.
It’s not necessarily a bustling metropolis either. But in many ways it might as well be for Joe
This month, the 6-foot-10 Hurlburt took the first steps of his college career in his first
summer practices with the Colorado Buffaloes. When Hurlburt arrived about a month ago, he found
soaking up the environment a little intensely on several occasions.
Hurlburt’s hometown of Enderlin, North Dakota has a population of about 1,000. For Hurlburt,
moving to CU was like packing up to try your luck in the big city.
“I come from a small town. Two gas stations,” Hurlburt said. “And now I’m here in Boulder with a great
great landscapes and people around. People are accepting and the guys on the team are great.
Among the five newcomers expected to compete for rotation spots in the 2022-23 season – Hurlburt,
fellow freshman RJ Smith, and three transfers – it’s Hurlburt who has the opportunity to provide a
immediate lift to a forward area heavily impacted by attrition.
After Jabari Walker opted to stay in the NBA Draft and ultimately was picked at the end of the second round
(57th overall) by Portland last week, the Buffs found themselves facing a serious production vacuum up front. Walker
was CU’s leading scorer and leading rebounder in the Pac-12 conference. Combine Walker’s departure
with the graduation of Evan Battey, who started the last 107 games of his career in a row and was the
The Buffs’ second-leading scorer and rebounder last year, and CU have become a team in need of immediate help
in the front.
Head coach Tad Boyle filled some of the void bouncing in the transfer portal. Former Princeton Guard
Ethan Wright ranked fourth in the Ivy League last season with 6.9 rebounds per game. Transfer from Yale
Jalen Gabbidon often played fourth for the Bulldogs, and Boyle expressed a belief that
Gabbidon will play bigger than his frame, even in the Pac-12.
Still, that frame is just 6-foot-5 for Gabbidon. And with Wright checking in at 6ft 4in, the 6ft 10in
Hurlburt could be called upon immediately to give an undersized team of Buffs a dose of inside height in
7 foot support 1 Lawson Lovering.
Hurlburt is ranked 129th nationally in the 2022 recruiting class by 247Sports and is ranked No. 21
center, though it projects more like a forward stretch four. With more than three months left before
the start of pre-season practice, Hurlburt reports that he is focusing on the two areas usually at the top of
the freshman big man roster – building up his strength and improving home defense.
“It’s good. I’ve been waiting for this and it’s exciting,” Hurlburt said. “It’s good to be here and it’s fun
opportunity, and I’m just looking forward to getting better. I absolutely have to work on my body and get
better on defense for sure. Those are two of the main things I’m focusing on before the season starts.
“It’s just different, going from guarding high school guys to guarding guys like that. It’s something that I have
get used to and improve. But I go to work every day.