University of Colorado Boulder men’s basketball senior guard D’Shawn Schwartz has had a rough start to the season. He missed the Buffs’ first two games after testing positive for COVID-19 and scored just three points combined in CU Boulder’s next two games. On Wednesday, however, Schwartz bounced back nicely with 11 points in Colorado’s 91-49 trouncing of Omaha at the CU Events Center.
Although Schwartz struggled in the second half and turned the ball over three times, head coach Tad Boyle was impressed with his style of play.
“The thing I liked about D’Shawn tonight is he played aggressively,” Boyle said. “When he is aggressive, we are usually pretty good. For his career, he has been a really good assist-to-turnover ratio guy. Tonight, it wasn’t great for him, but it is good to see him being aggressive and attacking the rim.”
Colorado shot 42.3% from behind the arc, accounting for 33 points from eight different Buffaloes. Schwartz was 2-for-2 from deep and senior forward/center Dallas Walton hit a career-high two three-pointers. Walton scored a season-high 12 points against Northern Colorado on Monday and bested that effort with 14 against the Mavericks.
“We didn’t try and play outside of ourselves, we stuck to our game plan and executed it very well playing inside-out and getting guys good looks and guys taking good shots,” Walton said. “When you do that, it’s a recipe for success.”
It was all Buffs’ from the tip as Schwartz opened the scoring with a corner-three. CU’s defense followed and Colorado stormed out to a 15-4 lead. Senior guard Maddox Daniels scored his lone basket with a three-point make that extended CU’s lead to 24-9. Daniels’ make was hidden in a 14-0 Buffs’ run that included three’s from Walton and freshman guard Jabari Walker.
With Colorado leading by a wide-margin throughout, Boyle’s freshmen were given time on the big stage. Led by Walker’s career-high 15, guard Nique Clifford had five and guard Luke O’Brien contributed with an assist.
Walton opened up the second half with his second three-pointer and a dunk to give Colorado a commanding 52-30 lead. Along with Walton, the Buffs’ big men played a key role against the Mavs. Junior forward Evan Battey had a near double-double with eight rebounds and nine points including an emphatic dunk in the second half. Although Walker isn’t the type of player to camp out under the basket, he led the Buffs with nine rebounds.
“(It) just tells you how active Jabari is,” Boyle said. “All nine of those were on the defensive end. I’d like to get Jabari with at least two or three offensive rebounds because he’s a guy who just has a nose for the ball. You can’t teach that- he’s got it. He plays with unbelievable energy and effort.”
Senior guard McKinley Wright IV led the Buffs with 17 points and kept the offense flowing with eight assists. Playing next to Wright, junior guard Eli Parquet has been an unsung hero for the Buffs in 2020 according to Boyle. With only five points himself, Parquet’s presence attributed to a +35 mark on the afternoon.
Colorado moved to 4-1 on the season with its lone loss against then No. 12 Tennessee. Boyle’s Buffs will hit the road for its next two games in the Far West Classic in Las Vegas; CU will face Washington on Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. MST and Grand Canyon University on Dec. 22.
Contact CU Independent Visuals / Operations Manager Nigel Amstock at nigel.amstock@ Colorado.edu (Nigel was on assignment for Rivals.com, images displayed are used with permission)