CU Buffs men’s basketball notes: Return to form for D’Shawn Schwartz in rout of Omaha

Freshman Tristan da Silva sidelined by migraine

BOULDER, CO - Dec. 16, 2020: ...
Colorado senior wing D’Shawn Schwartz has averaged 11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds over the past four games. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Wednesday’s matinee against Omaha was the third game back for D’Shawn Schwartz following a positive COVID-19 test on opening day.

However, the rout of Omaha marked the official return of Schwartz in terms of the player the Colorado Buffaloes are expecting for the remainder of the season.

Schwartz finally resembled the player he was for the bulk of the 2019-20 season during a 91-49 victory at the CU Events Center, providing an early spark for an offense that quickly buried the Mavericks.

Schwartz knocked down the Buffs’ first field goal attempt, a 3-pointer, and moments later added another 3-pointer during a 10-0 run that blew the game open early.

“D’Shawn is a guy who can score at all three levels,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “He can shoot the three, he’s got a good mid-range game, he’s a good foul shooter. He’s a good defender for us. He’s a big, strong body.

“D’Shawn is so important to us. When he hit that first shot it was so good to see and he kind of got himself going a little bit. The thing I liked about D’Shawn is that he played aggressively. When he’s aggressive, we’re usually pretty good.”

Schwartz, CU’s third-leading scorer in each of the past two seasons, missed the season’s first two games and struggled in his return during last week’s loss at Tennessee. Schwartz returned to the starting lineup on Monday against Northern Colorado but went just 1-for-4. That lone field goal against the Bears, however, was a late 3-pointer that may have helped pave the way for his fast start on Wednesday.

Schwartz finished 4-for-8 overall and 2-for-2 on 3-pointers, posting 11 points and four rebounds.

“I love seeing D’Shawn get going,” CU center Dallas Walton said. “He’s one of those guys on our team who works on his game so much, you know the ball is eventually going to fall for him. It did tonight. I knew he would get his confidence up once he saw one go through. I think he’s going to keep it going because he’s a big weapon for us.”

Da Silva sidelined

Freshman wing Tristan da Silva was unavailable against Omaha due to an illness that Boyle said was not related to COVID-19.

Da Silva passed coronavirus testing protocols prior to the Buffs’ shootaround earlier on Monday, but was overcome by a migraine. Boyle indicated migraines have been a sporadic issue for da Silva since he arrived in Boulder over the summer, and he is being monitored by CU medical personnel.

Da Silva also missed the second game of the season at Kansas State due to contact tracing protocols following Schwartz’s positive coronavirus test.

Friendly faces

In a second home game where cardboard cutouts took the place of real fans, the Buffs received a small treat as pre-recorded videos from the family members of CU’s starters — Schwartz, Walton, McKinley Wright IV, Eli Parquet, and Evan Battey — provided the pregame introductions.

The Buffs knew the videos were in the works but weren’t certain when they would be unveiled.

“That felt good,” Wright said. “Not being able to have fans in the arena, (it’s just) us, the other team, the janitors and a couple media people. It’s an arena with 10 fans in there. To have our families supporting us back home and taking the time out of their day to make those videos, it’s huge. It meant a lot to us.”

Notable

Freshman Nique Clifford knocked down his first career 3-pointer in the game’s waning moments…Walton now owns as many blocked shots through the season’s first four games (five) as he recorded all last season…Freshman forward Jabari Walker went 6-for-7 at the free throw line and is shooting .895 on free throws (17-for-19) through the first five games of his CU career…The Buffs have outrebounded its opponent in all five games this season…Walk-on and Centaurus graduate Owen Koonce made his CU debut, entering the game for the final 35 seconds.