D’Shawn Schwartz already has proven he can be a capable long-range shooter in the Pac-12 Conference.
What the highest-rated recruit in Colorado’s highly-regarded freshman class hasn’t done quite as frequently, however, is attack the basket with a sense of purpose. It is an issue Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle has addressed with Schwartz, and in recent weeks it appears as if Schwartz is heeding his coach’s advice.
Schwartz scored all eight of his points after halftime Wednesday night in the Buffs’ 68-64 win against Cal, a performance that included Schwartz following a 3-pointer with a strong drive into the lane that ended with a 3-point play for the native of Colorado Springs.
“That felt good,” Schwartz said. “I’m just trying to pick my spots where I can go score in the flow of the game. We ran one of our solid plays (on the 3-point play) that gets people to the rim. It’s usually Namon (Wright) who is in that position but obviously he wasn’t playing. So it was good for me to go in there and get a bucket.”
While Schwartz still is averaging just 3.3 points per game on the season, he has followed scoreless outings against Washington and Arizona by averaging seven points over the past three games while shooting 7-for-11 overall and 4-for-7 on 3-pointers.
Late night woes
The dreadful 9 p.m. tipoff time took its toll on the attendance Wednesday at the Coors Events Center, as it was a season-low crowd of 6,385 that turned out to witness the Buffs’ ugly-yet-crucial win against Cal.
While the 9 p.m. starts have been unpopular with fans, until Wednesday such starts haven’t actually made a huge dent in attendance figures. Over the previous two seasons, as late tipoffs have become more prevalent with the Pac-12 Network, the Buffs started five games at 9 p.m. and averaged 8,113.6 fans during those contests. That includes a solid showing of 8,755 fans to see a nationally-ranked UCLA team last year that featured the eventual No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft, Lonzo Ball.
“I want to thank the fans that came out on a school night, a work night, at 9 o’clock at night to support this team,” Boyle said. “I apologize to them on our behalf for the performance that we just put on the floor.”
Namon Wright missed his second consecutive game as he battles back from an illness. CU’s third-leading scorer is expected to return for Sunday’s game against Stanford…Redshirt freshman Dallas Walton continued his progress on the glass with seven rebounds. He has averaged 5.4 rebounds over the past five games…Senior George King knocked down the 170th 3-pointer of his career, tying former teammate Askia Booker for the fifth-most in team history…With Namon Wright sidelined the Buffs started four freshmen for the second consecutive game — Walton, McKinley Wright, Tyler Bey, and Lazar Nikolic.
Pat Rooney: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/prooney07