It remains to be seen if the Colorado men's basketball still has enough in the tank for a late-season push that might land the Buffaloes a berth in the NIT.
If they do, the Buffs certainly will need a return to form by senior George King.
King suffered through his third consecutive frustrating performance Wednesday night during the Buffs' 75-64 loss against USC, scoring a season-low four points for the second consecutive game. King finished 0-for-6 after attempting only one shot after halftime, and he would have posted a new season-low scoring total if not for a pair of meaningless free throws with 8.8 seconds remaining.
"He needs to defend and rebound. That's the first thing and he doesn't worry about his jump shot," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "When George defends and rebounds and takes good shots, good things happen. I thought a lot of the shots he took in the first half were rushed. Not necessarily good shots.
"He's a good shooter. So people are closing out on him like he's a good shooter. Which means he's going to have to shot-fake and drive and make a play off the dribble, which is not his strength. But he's got to be able to do that. It doesn't have to be four dribbles to get to the basket. It could be one, two dribbles max for George is good. When he tries to put it on the floor more than that, he struggles. We want him to shoot it when he's open, but he's got to have his feet ready, be ready, when he is open and let it go."
King has gone just 4-for-20 during the Buffs' three-game losing streak, with a 1-for-10 mark on 3-pointers. Those struggles are hurting King in his quest to end his career as the Buffs' all-time leader in 3-point percentage, as Wednesday's 0-for-4 mark on 3-pointers dropped that career percentage to .400. Mack Tuck owns the career record at .406.
Siewert bounces back
After scoring a career-high 17 points against Stanford on Feb. 11 with seven rebounds, it was a relatively quiet trip through Washington for sophomore forward Lucas Siewert, who went 5-for-13 with just 12 total points in the Buffs' losses at Washington State and Washington.
Yet against USC, Siewert rekindled the form he displayed during the Buffs' previous homestand, going 6-for-11 while posting 16 points and a career-best eight rebounds. Siewert went 2-for-2 on 3-pointers and scored nine points during a 14-0 CU run that briefly gave the Buffs the lead with 12 minutes remaining.
McKinley Wright recorded six assists to surpass Chauncey Billups for the most by a CU freshman. Wright now has 148 assists in 28 games, while Billups recorded 143 in 26 games during the 1995-96 season...Former CU star Carlon Brown, the MVP of the 2012 Pac-12 Conference tournament, was in attendance Wednesday night...Freshman Lazar Nikolic returned to the rotation after missing CU's game at Washington due to a left hand injury. Nikolic did not score and didn't even attempt a shot in seven minutes...USC's Elijah Stewart made two 3-pointers to surpass Lodrick Stewart (no relation) as the Trojans' all-time leader in made 3-pointers with 233...The Buffs matched a season-low with just one steal. They also had one steal against Air Force on Nov. 26 and at Oregon State on Dec. 29...Namon Wright was charged with four turnovers and has 10 over the past two games...Dallas Walton recorded a career-high four assists, but the 7-footer has grabbed just one rebound over the past two games.