ST. THOMAS, US Virgin Islands — Big man Lawson Lovering slowly is catching up to the speed of Division I basketball. And in his case, catching up means slowing down.
Colorado’s 7-foot-1 freshman struggled a little during the Buffaloes’ season-opening win against Montana State, but he has turned in solid efforts off the bench in the two games since.
CU head coach Tad Boyle has stated on several occasions during the preseason and into the early stages of the regular season that Lovering is attempting to overcome a common hurdle for young big men — getting into too big of a hurry when he catches the ball on the block.
“Nobody is harder on himself than Lawson,” Boyle said. “He and I have talked about it. That’s something that can become a negative thing, and we can’t let it become a negative. Because he’s going to be a good player.
“I think the biggest thing with young post guys — Evan went through it, Josh Scott went through it, Wes Gordon went through it — is young big guys get in a hurry. And right now, he’s in too much of a hurry when he catches the ball. He had one (against Maine) if he just takes his time, comes to a two-footed stop, and pulls up and dunks it, it’s not an issue. But he’s just trying to go too fast. And yeah, he is getting frustrated. He’s just got to let that go, learn, and continue to get better. Lawson is going to be fine.”
Lovering went 3-for-5 with one rebound in the season’s second game against New Mexico. He went without a bucket on Monday in the win against Maine (0-for-4) but went 4-for-4 at the free throw line with seven rebounds.
Doing it all
Granted, the Buffs have played just three games so far. Yet regardless of the number of games, it’s unusual for any player to own three times as many blocks and steals as turnovers. Going into CU’s Friday night battle against Southern Illinois in the first round of the Paradise Jam (6 p.m. MT, ESPN3), that is exactly what senior guard Elijah Parquet has produced so far.
In 96 and a half minutes of court time through three games, Parquet has recorded only one turnover with three steals and three blocked shots. He is 10-for-19 from the floor with seven assists.
Thursday was a rough night for the Pac-12, as Washington (against Wyoming) and Oregon State (Samford) both lost at home. Arizona State lost at San Diego State, while Cal needed two overtimes to secure a home win against Southern Utah. Washington State routed Idaho… CU’s 100 free throw attempts is the program’s most in a three-game span since early January of 2014, when the Buffs attempted 27 against Oregon State, 39 against Oregon, and 38 against Washington State for a total of 104.