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Colorado forward D’Shawn Schwartz transfers to George Mason

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The three-year starter is joining Kim English and Nate Tomlinson.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 12 Pac-12 Tournament - Colorado v USC Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Colorado Buffaloes forward D’Shawn Schwartz announced on Thursday that he will be transferring to George Mason for the 2021-22 season.

Schwartz entered the transfer portal earlier this week. Rumors began swirling even before that that he would be joining the George Mason Patriots, where former Buffs assistant Kim English was recently named head coach. Several reports have also stated that Nate Tomlinson, current Director of Player Development at CU, will be joining English’s staff.

It will most likely be a rebuilding season in Fairfax, Virginia. The Patriots’ top players from last season — Jordan Miller, Josh Oduro and Tyler Kolek — all entered the transfer portal but could still return. Whatever their roster looks like, Schwartz figures to be a primary scorer and locker room leader, a role that could force him to be aggressive.

English stated the he will prioritize recruiting in the talent-rich D.C. area, where this program has fallen in prestige since leaving the Colonial Athletic Association for the Atlantic-10 Conference. The Patriots have made the NCAA Tournament just twice since their unforgettable Final Four run in 2006.

Schwartz leaves Colorado after four terrific seasons. He started 99 games and scored over 1,000 points. He was always best in the clutch, where his last second shots won games over Dayton and USC, arguably CU’s two best wins during his time in Boulder.

Colorado fans have been concerned with the transfers leaving the program, but this is nothing to worry about. Of the four seniors transferring, both players and coaches decided it was best for both sides to part ways. This season — nearly winning the Pac-12, reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament — was a natural stopping point, considering McKinley Wright is leaving for professional basketball regardless.

The Buffs will almost surely be worse in the 2021-22 season, but that will be by design. The past four years have been so thoroughly dominated by the 2017 freshmen class that we hardly know what CU’s underclassmen can do. It’s best for the future of the program for these talented youngsters to grow into their own team, just as the Class of ‘17 did.s