Tre'Shaun Fletcher has shown he can be a significant difference-maker for the Colorado Buffaloes.
Unfortunately for CU, the junior wing player simply hasn't shown it frequently enough. Coming off arguably his best game of the season, Fletcher will look to overcome his long battle with inconsistency when the Buffs host Washington State on Thursday (8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).
"I've just got to have a consistent effort," Fletcher said. "I can't have just one game like that and disappear the next. I've got to bring that effort and energy to every game. Talking about it isn't going to do anything. I've just got to go out and do it."
Fletcher's services could be even more critical for a CU team that may be without top scorer and rebounder Josh Scott, who suffered an ankle injury during Saturday's loss at Oregon State.
With Scott sidelined during the second half, Fletcher at times played like a man possessed. Fletcher scored all 15 of his points in the second half while also tying a career-high with six rebounds. It was his sixth double-digit scoring effort of the season but just his second since a Dec. 2 victory against Colorado State. That CSU game was the Buffs' eighth of the season, and to that point Fletcher had posted four double-digit scoring efforts.
Despite scoring more points than he had in the previous three games combined, perhaps the most impressive aspect of Saturday's performance was the energy Fletcher brought to the floor, getting his hands on several loose-ball situations that allowed his teammates to collect the possession.
"If you talk to 12 Pac-12 coaches, and they probably have some guys that they know are capable of doing more than they're doing and they'd like to see more out of them," head coach Tad Boyle said. "We're playing nine guys in our rotation. You'd like them all to play as hard as they can. They're not all playing 35 minutes a game. So you want great effort, great energy when they're on the floor."
Boyle said after Tuesday's practice the status of Scott has not changed, though he did note a slight improvement in the senior's injured ankle. "He's still day-to-day, and getting better every day," Boyle said.
Thomas Akyazili is another player who has dealt with a sore ankle of late, missing last week's game at Oregon before returning against Oregon State. While Akyazili's return failed to spur a turnaround from a recent shooting slump — he has shot 6-for-29 overall and 2-for-14 from 3-point range during conference play — the freshman guard remains focused on trying to help the squad in other areas until his shot starts falling.
"For me it's been hard, because I'm a little bit of a perfectionist," Akyazili said. "I want to be able to help the team more than I am now. But I don't want to feel sorry for myself. I just go out every day and (the shots) will fall. You get what you work for."
Though he played only 11 minutes at Oregon State, Akyazili wasn't bitten by the turnover bug that plagued the team, finishing with zero. Despite not recording a multiple-assist game over the past five contests, Akyazili boasts a solid assists-to-turnover rate of 2.2 (39 assists, 18 turnovers).