LOS ANGELES — In recent weeks, Tad Boyle has not been afraid to juggle his lineups in hopes of uncovering the right mix of players that will set the Colorado Buffaloes on a hot streak.
That experiment will continue as the Buffs prepare to host No. 12 Arizona on Wednesday.
The starting lineup for Saturday's loss at UCLA included two players who largely had been coming off the bench the past three weeks in Josh Fortune and Tre'Shaun Fletcher, in addition to freshman guard Thomas Akyazili, who made his first career start in place of Dom Collier.
Like the insertion of Xavier Talton into the starting lineup two weeks ago, the moves failed to ignite the Buffs. Fortune had a decent game, hitting 2-of-3 3-pointers and going turnover-free in 14 minutes, but Akyazili struggled to a 1-for-6 mark from the floor with one assist, one steal and one turnover in 19 minutes.
"I'm not sure there's an answer in terms of who to play," Boyle said. "Josh Scott and Wesley Gordon, obviously they're our rocks. I think Xavier Talton has proven over the last few games that he's kind of that guy. Now we've got to find two more.
"You can make a case against a lot of guys. I'm not sure you can make a case for a lot of guys in terms of that."
The UCLA game marked the seventh different starting lineup utilized by Boyle this season.
Once again, when CU was able to get defensive stops, the Buffs were unable to make the opposition play in transition. The Buffs were credited with five fast break points on the entire two-game road trip, netting three at USC and two at UCLA.
"We're not able to finish, even when the have the advantage," Boyle said. "When you can't do that, you put a lot of pressure on your defense."
The privilege of making his first career start at a historic venue like Pauley Pavilion was not lost on Akyazili, a native of Belgium.
"I know some of the history," Akyazili said. "If you talk about college basketball in Belgium, the first thing you think about is UCLA. It's pretty big."
Gordon's continued up-and-down production continues to be perplexing. Prior to the road trip, the junior forward enjoyed a run of three consecutive double-doubles with his frontcourt mate Scott mostly out of the lineup due to a sprained ankle.
Scott came off the bench in his return Wednesday night at USC and Gordon enjoyed a solid performance, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds. He was a non-factor, however, with Scott returning to the starting lineup on Saturday. Gordon sat the final 10 minutes, 25 seconds of the first half after picking up his second foul, ultimately finishing with seven points and six rebounds.
Gordon was credited with a career-high four steals against UCLA.
Three of the biggest culprits of CU's recent glut of turnovers — Fortune, Collier and George King — showed improvement on that front against UCLA. The trio combined for just two in a total of 53 minutes ... The 12 free throws attempted by the Buffs on Saturday was their third-lowest of the season. CU attempted a season-low four free throws in a loss against Utah on Jan. 8 and 11 in the season-opener against Iowa State ... UCLA's 30-for-60 mark from the field was just the fourth time a CU opponent has hit the 50 percent mark, but two of those efforts have occurred in the past four games.