One year after being perhaps the biggest surprise player in the Pac-12 Conference, George King so far is struggling to produce an encore.

The Colorado Buffaloes' fourth-year junior finished with just five points in Wednesday's stunning 72-58 home loss against Colorado State, continuing a rollercoaster ride through the season's first seven games for a player who won the Pac-12's Most Improved Player award last spring.

"He's mentally really struggling," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "Physically, he's really struggling. His game is struggling. We've got to get him out of it."

After a slow start this season, King actually appeared to be coming along heading into Wednesday's rivalry battle, going 16-for-29 from the floor over the previous three games while averaging 13 points.

Against the Rams, though, King shot just 1-for-6 while missing both his 3-point attempts. King averaged 13.6 points last year during his breakout season but has topped that number just once this season. Inconsistency continues to thwart King, who posted back-to-back 13-rebound games in Brooklyn last week but had none during Sunday's win against Wofford. He recorded seven rebounds Wednesday.

Boyle expressed optimism during the preseason that King would bring a more rounded all-around game to the floor this season, but Wednesday's four-turnover, no-assist effort left King with 18 turnovers and only three assists through seven games.

Miller returns


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Reserve forward Tory Miller returned to the rotation after a one-game absence due to an ankle injury. At times Miller appeared to favor slightly the ankle he injured last week against Texas, and he played just eight minutes while going 2-for-3 from the floor with four points and one rebound.

Notable

Derrick White surpassed the 2,000-point mark in his collegiate career. That total includes 1,912 points scored at the Division II level in three seasons at UCCS...Sophomore guard Thomas Akyazili is 0-for-8 from 3-point range...CU shot a season-low .322 from the floor...CU's home winning streak was snapped at 12 games.

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07