Sometimes, things don't go as planned. It's part of both the allure and the disappointment that comes with major college athletics.
Josh Fortune has experienced his share of big moments during his two seasons on the floor with the Colorado Buffaloes. Unfortunately for Fortune and the Buffs, few of them have occurred during what has proved to be a trying senior season for the 3-point specialist.
Fortune, one of the Buffs' four fifth-year seniors, is set to play his final two regular-season home games with CU, a run that begins Thursday night against Stanford (7 p.m., ESPN2). A former transfer from Providence, Fortune's struggles throughout the 2016-17 season have not diminished his experience at CU.
"I think my three years here was a great boost for me," Fortune said. "I enjoyed it and I've met some great people. Great coaches. I've learned a lot here. I definitely can look back on it and say I had a great three years here.
"Every game we have is a battle you have to fight through. That's one of the lessons we go through in games that transfer to real life situations. Life isn't always easy."
CU's third-leading scorer a year ago when the Buffs reached the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons, Fortune was expected to excel in his sharpshooting role for a team that figured to once again reach college basketball's Big Dance.
It simply hasn't happened. After going 4-for-7 from 3-point range in the season's first two games, Fortune went 1-for-12 over the next three and never recovered. While Fortune still enjoyed the occasional moment — his 4-for-7 night with nine points and seven rebounds was a highlight of an otherwise listless home loss against Colorado State — those moments were overshadowed by an 0-for-8 night at BYU, or a 1-for-5 effort in CU's Pac-12 Conference opener at Utah.
After connecting on 3-pointers at a .385 rate last year, Fortune's percentage this season dipped to .283 after the UCLA game on Jan. 12 — the game in which head coach Tad Boyle removed Fortune from the starting lineup. While it signaled a reduction of minutes for a senior, Boyle has consistently praised the mature manner Fortune has used in handling the demotion.
"The whole thing with all these seniors is I want them to go out with a bang hopefully and with a positive taste in their mouth about their experience here," Boyle said. "I know this senior year has not gone how Josh Fortune wanted it to go, and it didn't go the way I wanted it to go, and our staff. But it's the old adage that life is 10 percent what happens and 90 percent how you react to it. I think that says a lot of how Josh Fortune has handled what has happened to him this year."
Fortune said he hopes to play professionally overseas if an opportunity arrives, and the matchup against Stanford could provide a chance for Fortune to impress. In three career games against the Cardinal, Fortune has shot 11-for-20 with a 9-for-15 mark on 3-pointers.
"Certainly there was an adjustment period for a couple weeks, but he's accepted his role," Boyle said. "I think he understands, 'Hey, I'm just going to go out and play,' and not over-think the game. I'm really proud of him for sticking it out, because it hasn't been easy."