Native Coloradoans D’Shawn Schwartz and Dallas Walton have suited up for their home state Buffaloes for the final time.
Yet that doesn’t mean the duo is quite done with college basketball just yet.
On Monday, Schwartz and Walton entered the NCAA transfer portal, intending to take advantage of the eligibility relief granted for the 2020-21 pandemic season to play an extra season elsewhere.
One potential landing spot for both players is George Mason University, which named well-liked former CU assistant Kim English as its head coach last week. According to gmuhoops.com, English already is expected to hire as an assistant former Buffs player and CU’s Director of Player Development, Nate Tomlinson.
The turn of events doesn’t change the spring plans for CU head coach Tad Boyle. Even if any of the 2020-21 seniors had opted to stay, the extra year will not count against the scholarship limit in 2021-22. The Buffs have two open scholarships to use this spring to bolster a 2021 recruiting class now ranked 11th in the nation by 247Sports.com.
Boyle confirmed Schwartz and Walton indeed have entered the portal, and added he does not expect any of the 2020-21 seniors to return to Boulder with their extra year of eligibility.
“I always say this, but from October first until the end of the season, every decision I make and conversation I have with any member of our program, whether it’s a coach or player, is what’s best for Colorado basketball? That’s all that matters,” Boyle said. “When the season is over with, that narrative changes. What is best for Dallas Walton? What is best for D’Shawn Schwartz? What is best for (assistants) Mike Rohn or Rick Ray? What’s best for our strength coach?
“Those are the conversations you have when the season’s over with. And they’re each individual, so there’s no blanket statement with each guy.”
Schwartz became the 37th member of CU’s career 1,000-point club during the Buffs’ rout of Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He matched a career-high with five 3-pointers in that game while scoring 18 points. The Colorado Springs native finished his CU career tied for 34th all-time in scoring (1,026), seventh in 3-pointers (156), and ninth in games played (128).
Schwartz authored two of CU’s biggest shots of the past few seasons, drilling a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime to topple 13th-ranked Dayton in Chicago on Dec. 21, 2019, and recording a game-winning tip-dunk against USC with 3.3 seconds remaining in the Pac-12 semifinals on March 12.
Walton, from Arvada West, battled through knee injuries to play 84 games for the Buffs, averaging 4.6 points and 2.5 rebounds. After suffering two torn ACLs in high school, Walton redshirted as a true freshman and averaged 5.7 points and a career-best 3.1 rebounds while starting 25 games as a redshirt freshman in 2017-18. He missed the following season due to another torn ACL and struggled in a limited role off the bench last year before regaining his form this season, shooting .550 from the field while averaging a career-high 6.5 points.
Walton posted a career-high 22 points in a win against Washington in Las Vegas on Dec. 20.
The Buffs already have replacements for both players on the way in the 2021 recruiting class in four-star recruits Lawson Lovering, a 7-footer from Cheyenne, and 6-foot-7 Washington DC prospect Quincy Allen.
CU also received its first commitment for the 2022 recruiting class on Monday, getting a pledge from four-star, 6-foot-10 forward Joe Hurlburt out of North Dakota.