It's certainly a small sample size thus far, but Colorado men's basketball senior Josh Fortune is averaging just about the same amount of points and the exact same number of rebounds he produced last season.
How Fortune is getting the job done, however, is a complete contrast.
Generally a steady 3-point ace who should be counted on to be one of the top long-range threats in the Pac-12 Conference this season, Fortune has offset an early shooting slump by fulfilling a preseason vow to be a more consistent scorer in other ways.
While he'd prefer to get his 3-point shot back on track, Fortune sees no reason to change his approach as the Buffaloes get set to host Wofford in a nonconference battle on Sunday at the Coors Events Center (noon, Pac-12 Network).
"It's just about getting the best shot for the team," Fortune said. "Obviously attacking the rim is a great shot attempt, so I'm trying to get a lot of those and shoot threes when I'm open."
In his first year of eligibility with the Buffs last year after transferring from Providence, Fortune averaged 10.3 points and four rebounds per game. Heading into the Wofford contest he's at 10.4 points and four rebounds, even while currently struggling with his 3-point shot with a percentage of .263 (5-for-19).
Last year, Fortune shot .385 from 3-point range and ultimately recorded 47 percent of his overall point total from beyond the arc. So far this year Fortune has scored just 28.8 percent of his points on 3-pointers, but a sterling 21-for-23 mark at the free throw line has allowed Fortune to maintain basically the same scoring average.
After averaging just 2.26 free throw attempts last season, Fortune has pushed that number to 4.6 attempts per game through the first five contests this year.
"He's 21-for-23 from the free throw line. We'll take that all day long," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "We love for him to get to the line. That's a good thing. His big thing, and we talked to the whole team (Friday) about shot selection, and I think that's going to be key for Josh Fortune as we move forward this year. Understanding what's a good shot, what's a bad shot.
"We want him shooting the ball when he's open. You look at his numbers, they don't look good right now but we know he's a good shooter. That ebbs and flows throughout the year. The key is that he takes good shots, not bad shots."
Boyle noted that he expects both Fortune and fourth-year junior George King to shoot about 45 percent from 3-point range and 60 percent on two-pointers. While King is enjoying an uptick on his 3-point shot after a slow start — the reigning Pac-12 3-point percentage leader is 6-for-11 in the past three games — his two-point rate is hovering at about .483 (14-for-29).
Despite his long-range struggles, Fortune has compiled a .615 mark on two-pointers, though in far fewer attempts than King (8-for-13). For his part, Fortune remains confident his 3-point shot will round into form sooner than later.
"It's just a matter of them starting to fall," Fortune said. "I know they're going to fall. You just have to keep shooting, keep the ball moving and getting into that rhythm."