TEMPE, Ariz.—The 3-point arc is becoming a unkind barrier for the Colorado men's basketball team.
Typically the Buffaloes under coach Tad Boyle have been solid from long-range, posting three of the top eight 3-point percentages in program history during his tenure. That is changing in a hurry this season, as CU's 5-for-26 mark from long range during Saturday's 83-61 loss at Arizona State continued a lengthy run of 3-point frustration.
CU finished the two-game swing through Arizona with a .256 mark (11-for-43) from 3-point range. It continued a slide over the past seven games in which the Buffs have shot just .262 (37-for-141) on 3-pointers.
Saturday's effort dropped the Buffs' season 3-point percentage to .326.
"We've got good shooters on this team. I see it every day in practice, guys shooting the ball," Boyle said. "It's just not translating to games. Against Arizona (Thursday) I felt part of the problem was shot selection, and that had to do with Arizona's defense. Tonight, I didn't feel like we took a lot of bad shots. Maybe a handful, three or four of them.
"The way I feel right now, we had good looks. We just can't make them. We can't finish around the rim. We can't finish when we're open from three. We're just struggling to shoot the ball."
Boyle finally pulled the trigger on the lineup shuffle he has hinted at the past few weeks, inserting freshman guard Eli Parquet into the starting lineup with Shane Gatling coming off the bench for the first time this season.
With Namon Wright sidelined with a foot injury and Deleon Brown out due to academic issues, Boyle didn't have many options for further tinkering. In his first career start, Parquet went 1-for-5 overall and 0-for-4 from 3-point range, finishing with two points, two rebounds, two steals, and four turnovers in a season-high 21 minutes. Gatling went 2-for-5 on 3-pointers, showing signs of breaking out of a shooting slump that saw him go 2-for-19 from long range in the previous three games.
Boyle said Wright's injury isn't believed to be serious but offered no timetable for his return.
For once, a Buffs loss could not essentially be pinned solely on the club's turnover issues. But that by no means meant the issue disappeared.
CU once again failed to protect the ball against Arizona State, finishing with 15 turnovers. It was the third consecutive game in which the Buffs posted at least 15, and only once in 14 games this season has CU finished with a single-digit turnover total.
Former Buffs players George King, who is on a two-way contract with the Phoenix Suns, and Dom Collier were in attendance...Junior forward Lucas Siewert entered the game with a 9-for-14 mark in three games against ASU but went 1-for-9...CU finished with 10 steals, its best total in a true road game since Jan. 25, 2014, also against ASU.