In the near future the schedule will take a far more demanding turn for the Colorado men's basketball team, and certainly points won't pile up so easily once Pac-12 Conference play begins.

Still, the Buffaloes so far are lighting up the scoreboard. It could be an encouraging sign for a young team that at times struggled to score consistently a year ago.

Wednesday's 93-69 home win against Portland marked the third time in five games the Buffs scored at least 93 points. It's a hot streak CU looks to continue Saturday when the rival Colorado State Rams visit the CU Events Center (1 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

"We've got a lot of guys that can shoot the ball. We've got a lot of guys that can make plays off the dribble," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "We've got a lot of different weapons. A lot of guys that can shoot the ball. Offensively, I said this early, I wasn't too concerned about our offense. What I'm concerned about is our execution of our offense and our ability to stay unselfish and not think about how many shots am I getting, how many points am I scoring. If we can keep that out of our mindset, this team is going to be fun to watch.

"Not that we're going to score 90 every night. We're going play against better defensive teams. Obviously San Diego (last week) was one of them. But we can be explosive."


Granted, CU hardly has faced the best that college basketball has to offer through the first five games. Yet the Buffs also failed to score so prolifically during the 2017-18 season despite facing a similar early nonconference slate.

Last year, the Buffs topped 90 points only three times in 32 games, but did so only once in regulation. That ledger included a 112-point outing in double-overtime against South Dakota State and a 90-81 home win in a single overtime against Arizona State. The Buffs also victimized the Sun Devils with their top offensive performance of the season in the Pac-12 Tournament, posting a 97-85 regulation win in the first round.

What might be most encouraging to Boyle is that despite the early offensive fireworks, there remains room for improvement. Starting guard D'Shawn Schwartz has balanced a pair of difference-making performances (15 points against Omaha, 11 at Air Force) with two games in which he struggled (zero points at San Diego, two against Portland). Guard Shane Gatling, a junior college transfer brought in largely to bolster the Buffs' 3-point efficiency, is just 6-for-18 so far from long range.

Additionally, the Buffs have squandered plenty of scoring opportunities by averaging 14 turnovers per game — a glaring shortcoming the Buffs are desperate to correct before the start of Pac-12 play. Only two Pac-12 teams, Arizona State (14.5) and Stanford (16.6), enter the weekend averaging more turnovers than CU.

"We've got so many scorers. I've need to do a better job of getting these guys shots," sophomore point guard McKinley Wright said. "We've got Lucas shooting the lights out. We've got D'Shawn, Shane, Namon (Wright)...everybody can play. Once we get these guys going at their best, we're one of the best teams in the country."

Pat Rooney: or