CU men’s basketball: Josh Scott setting torrid pace for Buffs

David R. Jennings / Staff Photographer
During Colorado’s five-game winning streak, senior forward Josh Scott has shot a scorching .763 (29-for-38) from the field. That surge includes an 8-for-10 performance at Auburn and a 6-for-7 night against Air Force.

Iowa State had hardly finished its on-court, postgame celebration when Colorado senior Josh Scott first expressed lament about his substandard shooting performance that limited the Buffaloes in their season opener.

It almost feels as if Scott hasn’t missed a shot since.

CU’s star forward has put together plenty of hot streaks during his prolific career, yet few have matched the pace Scott has set in the five games since that six-point loss against a Cyclones team that has risen to No. 5 in the weekly AP poll.

“That’s the wonderful thing about seniors — they have a heightened sense of urgency,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “He knows it’s his last go-around. I get the sense from Josh that he’s kind of cherishing each day and really appreciates his teammates. And I can’t say enough about his leadership and what he’s done for our team.”

Clearly frustrated after starting his senior season with a 5-for-16 dud against Iowa State, Scott has taken out those frustrations on the opposition while sparking the Buffs’ five-game winning streak.

During that span, Scott has shot a scorching .763 (29-for-38) from the field. That surge includes an 8-for-10 performance in CU’s first win of the year at Auburn and a 6-for-7 night last week against Air Force.

Scott has been no less torrid at the free throw line, going 32-for-37 (.865) in the past five games. Scott has always been solid at the charity stripe — he entered the season with a .778 career free throw percentage — but his recent streak has lifted Scott into elite territory.

Scott needs to make just nine more free throws to become the seventh CU player to sink 400 in his career, and while the season is not yet three weeks old, maintaining his .825 overall mark at the free throw line would rank among the top five single-season performances in CU history.

As has become customary, Scott has been quick to deflect credit to his teammates — particularly the Buffs’ newfound efficiency at the 3-point line that is keeping traffic clear of Scott’s turf in the paint.

“We need it, especially since I get a lot of attention and double teams,” Scott said. “When people can shoot it like that, it scares people away from wanting to do that more.”

Scott still has done his job on the glass, averaging 8.5 rebounds a game heading into Wednesday’s home date against Fort Lewis College, and on Sunday against Northern Colorado he established a career-high with five blocked shots.

“He was really disappointed, I think, in himself after the Iowa State game because he didn’t shoot the ball well,” Boyle said. “But Josh does so many other things to help this program in so many different ways. I hope he can continue on the pace he’s at because he’s pretty efficient right now.”

Pat Rooney: or