Big piece for future of Boyle's program

Sand Creek High School (Colorado Springs) basketball coach Rob Hawkins believes Buffs signee D’Shawn Schwartz has the skill set to fill up the stat sheet in the Pac-12 and some day in the NBA.

Hawkins’ coaching resume includes the grooming of Detroit Pistons starting point guard Reggie Jackson, also a product of Colorado Springs. While Schwartz is an all-together different player than Jackson, the Centennial state hoopsters share similar basketball ceilings.  

“He’s a kid with a big tool bag, I’ll tell you that. He’s got a lot of skills, a lot of work ethic. I tried to make my guys take a week off and I couldn’t convince him, he had to still do his training at 6 a.m.,” Hawkins said of Schwartz.

“They’re getting a kid who’s in love with the game honestly. He doesn’t allow distractions, he’s a regular kid though, he really is. He loves music, he loves his friends, he has got a good personality, but when it comes to basketball, nothing gets in the way.

On the court he listens. … I’m not a college coach, but he’s the ideal kid you’d want.”

2016-17 will be the first season Hawkins has coached Schwartz, but the two share a mutual connection via a personal trainer. Hawkins plans to push his star forward with goals of a 4A state title and Gatorade Player of the Year honors being obtainable.

“I told [Schwartz] I have a little bit of experience with a kid who is the starting point guard for the Detroit Pistons now. I coached Reggie in high school so I’ve learned a ton from kids. Reggie was really my learning curb for kids at this level,” Hawkins continued.

“I told him there are going to be days where you’re just going to be uncomfortable, I’m going to put you outside your comfort zone a lot and he’s welcomed it.”

Hawkins describes Schwartz and CU head coach Tad Boyle’s personalities as “puzzle pieces that match well.” The Sand Creek coach was recently in Boulder to take in a CU practice and he projects Schwartz will get big minutes as a freshman.

“I watched the practice and I thought ‘oh my God, D'shawn could play right now.’ He’s got that level, he’s got that body,” Hawkins said. “He’s just so eager to be better.”

Everything Sand Creek plans to run offensively this winter will go through Schwartz. It’s a new role for the future Buffalo and one the four-star is embracing.

“My team is buying in that D’Shawn is the man. It makes everything easier for them. 30 shots a game? Easy, I’m running a pro style,” Hawkins said.

CU’s coaching staff wants Schwartz stay healthy first and foremost. The Buffs would also like to see their future scorer chalk up the Ws at the high school level.

“In a nutshell, they want to see him win because it translates. When you’re used to winning you bring winning to a program. When you’re used to being great, you bring that to a program,” Hawkins said.

“I’m gearing him to make every time he touches the ball he’s a threat to go score, every time. The rest of it comes easy after that.”

Schwartz's connection with Boyle trumped location in the decision making process. The CU head coach gets high recuiting marks from Hawkins.

“I think that’s definitely a benefit, but I don’t know if that was the leading factor,” Hawkins said of location’s impact.

“He was really interested in some other schools. Just the way Tad treated him, how they were with him. I think if Tad Boyle could have been at another university with his coaching staff and D’Shawn would have went to wherever they were.”

Other schools being Providence and Memphis, both making late pushes. Late pushes being in September before Schwartz committed to CU.

Back to that Reggie Jackson connection. Jackson has always had a point guard’s mentality and Hawkins had to make the NBA starter focus on scoring in high school. Not a problem. Schwartz’s game projects more as a shooter of the purest form. The Colorado Springs products share a drive that is both relentless and professional. 

“They’re night and day players, they really are,” Hawkins continued.

“The comparable thing to them is their work ethic. Nothing gets in the way, not sleep, not friends, not parties, not girls, nothing gets in their way of what their mission is. … Reggie has some natural ability, natural athleticism, D’Shawn has a natural body and he’s got a pro shot. His shot is gorgeous, it’s perfect.”

Hawkins pointed to Schwartz being on the quieter end of the spectrum in respect to the vocal nature of Jackson. A couple of years in college and a first-round draft pick hat are not out of the question for Coloardo's 2017 signee.  

“Seeing [recruitment] through Reggie and now D’Shawn, I have the same kind of feeling,” Hawkins said.

“With D’Shawn having the ability to play as a true freshman, I think he’ll be a two or three and done in my opinion. He has some things going for him they look for and his body. They list him at 6-7 and I think he’s a legit 6-6.”

Before we get ready for drafts, or even rolling with the Tad, Sand Creek has a 4A title to chase. Schwartz will be the focal point, manning multiple spots. 

“1, 2, 3, 4,” Hawkins said of positions Schartz will play. 

Schwartz averaged 19.9 points and 8.5 rebounds as a junior at Sand Creek. The 210-pounder looks to improve on those lofty numbers when the Scorpions begin their season on Dec. 1.

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