Dom Collier is a player who has struggled to settle into a role throughout his career with the University of Colorado men's basketball team.
Yet if the senior guard can maintain his recent shooting upswing, Collier may still provide the Buffaloes with a valuable offensive asset off the bench.
After starting the first seven games of the season, Collier has played off the bench the past two contests and is likely to do so again when CU hosts San Diego Tuesday night (6 p.m., Pac-12 Network). While quick foul trouble remains an issue for Collier his 3-point shot — long his most reliable asset — has shown signs of coming around after a slow start.
"Dom's a good shooter. Coming off the bench allows him, hopefully, the foul trouble doesn't become as much of an issue as when he starts the game," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "And the other thing is to understand the flow and take a little pressure off. When he just plays the game and shoots it fluidly, he's pretty good. And he can become a good weapon for us offensively, because he has the ability to make threes."
Collier went 4-for-22 on 3-pointers during his seven starts but has gone 4-for-7 in two games off the bench. He still committed his first two fouls within 2 minutes, 6 seconds of entering Saturday's loss at Xavier. Yet Collier's .444 mark on 3-pointers during his sophomore year would rank fifth all-time among CU's single-season leaders if not for finishing 10 attempts short of qualifying for the record book. Any return to that form from long range would bolster the second unit and help the Buffs overcome what has been an unexpectedly slow start on 3-pointers.
"It's good to see some of them going in," Boyle said. "Even in practice, he's really shooting the ball with a lot of confidence right now. My biggest thing with Dom is I want to take pressure off him. I don't want to put the pressure off him."
San Diego reserve guard Andy Nelson, a sophomore walk-on, is a graduate of Holy Family High School. He has appeared in just one game this season for the Toreros...Lost in Saturday's rout at the hands of Xavier Saturday was George King becoming the 34th member of CU's 1,000-point club. King sits at 1,010 points with Andre Roberson (1,012) and Chauncey Billups (1,020) next in line...Among San Diego's three road wins were impressive victories at UC-Santa Barbara and New Mexico State.