STANFORD, Calif. — A rules change in college basketball from a few years ago ended the practice of the visiting team choosing which end of the floor they wanted at the outset of games.
Now games are set up so offenses play in front of their own bench in the second half, but if Colorado coach Tad Boyle had his way, he would prefer having his option again on the road.
While this nuance certainly wasn't the reason why Boyle's Colorado Buffaloes suffered a second-half collapse in a 75-62 loss Saturday at Stanford, his attempts at trying to pinpoint why his club could play so efficiently on defense in the first half, when the Buffs' defense was in front of the CU bench, before turning into a club that allowed the Cardinal to shoot 72 percent in the second half brought him back to this rules wrinkle.
"Basketball used to be that the opposing team got to pick their basket in the first half," Boyle said. "If we still had that choice, I would have our defense in front of us in the second half. The only thing I can think of is, the defense is in front of our bench in the first half. Our bench, our coaches, our players, they're all talking and giving energy and dialed-in.
"The second half, that defense is down at the other end, the bench can't talk to them. Those five guys have to do it. I'm trying to look for reasons why we held them to 37 percent in one half and 72 percent the next half. They're running the same offense, the same plays, the same players. It's mind-boggling."
The seesaw season of sophomore guard D'Shawn Schwartz continued during the Buffs' two-game swing through the Bay Area.
During the nonconference slate, the native of Colorado Springs weathered several ups-and-downs, balancing performances like a 6-for-7, 14-point night against South Dakota with a scoreless outing against Colorado State.
Schwartz seemingly had found some consistency in Pac-12 play, averaging 13.4 points through the first five league games. That changed again this weekend, with Schwartz managing just two points and two rebounds in Thursday's win at Cal before again scoring just two points with one rebound Saturday against Stanford.
Schwartz scored those two points on free throws 2 minutes, 8 seconds into the game and attempted just two field goals while playing nearly 29 minutes.
"Mental toughness, where hey, I'm struggling on offense but it's not going to affect me defensively," Boyle said. "Staying out of foul trouble. He was in foul trouble in both games. That's a maturity factor, playing smarter factor. That is one thing that younger players have to figure out is staying out of foul trouble. D'Shawn is still figuring that out. Tyler (Bey) is still figuring that out. Evan (Battey) is figuring that out."
The Buffs spent part of their off-day Friday taking the tour at Alcatraz...Freshman Daylen Kountz was held without a point at Stanford, but he matched his season-high for the second consecutive game with four assists. Kountz recorded eight assists against three turnovers in the games at Cal and Stanford...Bey's five rebounds was his lowest total in a full game this season. Bey had just one rebound at Air Force on Nov. 24, but he played only seven minutes before exiting with a shoulder injury...Battey recorded six rebounds, all in the first half, after collecting just rebounds in the previous three games combined...Lucas Siewert played a career-most 36 minutes.