Josh Fortune made a mark earlier this season by showing he owns far more play-making skills than previously advertised.
Fortune enjoyed a six-game stretch in December during which he registered 29 assists while committing just eight turnovers. It was a model of efficiency the Colorado Buffaloes’ junior guard will attempt to recapture as CU continues Pac-12 Conference play with a late start Wednesday night against Oregon State.
“It’s just being able to focus, being able to complete a play,” Fortune said. “I’ve still got to be able to get my teammates the ball. That’s what I want to do and like to do, to get my teammates the ball to get open shots for them and open things up on the floor for me, too.
“We’ve just got to move on to the next game and not let things like that affect us. We’ve just got to play confident and produce during the game.”
Like several of his teammates, turnovers have been an issue for Fortune lately. After committing more than three turnovers just once over the first 12 games, Fortune had four turnovers against SMU on Dec. 23 and a season-most six at Stanford on Jan. 3. Fortune also recorded two against Utah, with both of them occurring at critical junctures during the Utes’ late comeback.
Additionally, the smooth-shooting Fortune recently has been off, as he posted his second-and-third-lowest scoring totals in the three games leading up to the Oregon State tipoff. Fortune scored just three points against Cal on New Year’s Day and four against Utah.
“Not only for Josh but for our wings and point guards, our perimeter players have to be good decision-makers,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “Josh is struggling a little bit in that department and that’s why his turnovers are up. His decisions when he gets in the lane, when to shoot and when not to shoot, when to pass and not to pass. Not to jump to pass. Decision-making is something he hopefully gets better at as he watches film.
“The competition level has gone up. The defensive ability level of the teams we’re playing has gone up significantly since we started conference play. He’s going through a little bit of an adjustment period that hopefully he’ll get through it. Because he’s a good player.”