Maybe by the time some fans read these notes this evening, D'Shawn Schwartz will have once again turned it around.
As it stands, however, the sophomore guard enters Tuesday's home date against South Dakota still riding a rollercoaster of production through the season's first six games. Schwartz is coming off an 0-for-3, zero-point showing at home Saturday against Colorado State, the second time in the past four games Schwartz has gone without a point.
Prior to the CSU win, Schwartz was just 1-for-6 with two points in a win against Portland. Yet in two of his first three games of the season Schwartz made a significant impact, recording career-bests of 15 points and seven rebounds against Omaha and scoring 11 points, all in the second half, in a win at Air Force. Those efforts, though, were sandwiched around Schwartz's other scoreless outing in a loss at San Diego, further illustrating the feast-or-famine start to Schwartz's season.
Head coach Tad Boyle remains confident the offense will come around for a player that hit 38.3 percent of his 3-pointers as a freshman last year. As Boyle has repeated since Schwartz arrived from Colorado Springs, defense and rebounding remain the keys for the 6-foot-7 guard. Since grabbing that career-best seven rebounds against Omaha, Schwartz has recorded just eight rebounds in four games. He also hasn't attempted a free throw since the Omaha game.
"What I'm concerned about D'Shawn is, is he guarding? Is he rebounding? Is he playing hard? That's what I want to see," Boyle said. "If he does those three things, he can score four points and help this team win games. Because you have to guard him on the 3-point line. He's a good shooter. When he's open we want him to take shots. He can make shots. He can drive and close out.
"He just needs to understand it's the defense and rebounding that are going to help us win games when he's not scoring. And when he scores, he scores."
Namon Wright always has been a capable scorer. Yet through six games, CU's lone senior is playing a far more efficient brand of basketball than last season.
In two seasons at Missouri before transferring, Wright compiled 50 assists and 92 turnovers. That rate actually was slightly worse last year, with Wright finishing with 34 assists and 57 turnovers alongside is 9.7 points per game scoring average. Wright likely will never be a big-assists player, but by drastically reducing his turnover rate, Wright recorded six assists against just three turnovers through the first six games.
Wright heads into the South Dakota game averaging 10.7 points, with a .553 overall field goal percentage and a .478 mark from 3-point range (11-for-23). Wright also is 11-for-13 at the free throw line while averaging 4.3 rebounds — a tick ahead of his 3.5 average a year ago.
"That's something we've been on him since he got here," Boyle said. "Because we stat practices too, and if his assist-to-turnover rate is six to three, we can live with that all day long.
"We need to get Namon more shots, because he's a good shooter. I just want him to take great shots. As long as he takes good shots, good things are going to happen for us."
Tuesday's game will mark the first time the Buffs have played South Dakota. They also will play Illinois-Chicago for the first time Saturday (4 p.m., Pac-12 Network)...CU heads into the South Dakota game shooting an impressive .504 overall with a .396 mark on 3-pointers.