Bu≠s hope to become accurate in long run
boulder» Sustaining energy and focus has been among the early-season hurdles for the Colorado men’s basketball team.
While that can be ascribed to the mental part of the game, there were physical skills expected to be a given with a deep Buffaloes team featuring an array of experienced, sharpshooting wing players. Three-point shooting was near the top of that list.
However, the top longrange team in the Pac-12 last season has endured an upand-down ride from beyond the arc so far. It’s a once-trusty element the Buffs hope to regain when they host No. 13 Xavier on Wednesday night at the Coors Events Center.
“It just comes and goes. And look, everybody is like that to a certain degree,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “Xavier is coming in here and Missouri took them to overtime. But if they make shots, it’s not even a close game. It sounds awful simple, but there’s more to it that goes into that. Part of it is execution. Part of it is screening. Part of it is cutting hard.
“That’s why I as a coach I always get back to defense and rebounding. I always feel like I can control that. You can’t control offensively a shot going in or not.”
The Buffs connected from 3-point range at a league-leading .389 pace last year but enter the Xavier game with a .342 mark. While that perhaps is not a monumental decline, once an impressive 6-for-13 mark from freshman Deleon Brown and the 4-for-7 night by now-injured guard Dom Collier in the season opener are excluded from the equation, the bulk of CU’s regulars have compiled a .317 mark on 3-pointers.
The shooting woes have been a team-wide affliction. George King led the Pac-12 with a .456 mark last year but has dropped to .346 after going 0-for-6 in the past two games. Josh Fortune made two critical shots from long range in the second half Saturday at Portland, giving him an encouraging 5-for-10 mark over the past three games, but he still sports a .345 percentage after hitting at a .385 rate last year.
Sophomore guard Thomas Akyazili is 0-for-10. And after going 3-for-3 in his CU debut in the opener, freshman forward Lucas Siewert has gone 1-for-8 since.