Oregon defeated Colorado 75-69 Thursday night, bringing both teams to the middle of the standings in the PAC-12. In this game, I was excited to watch Kel’el Ware, but unfortunately his game was quiet off the bench yet again as his stock continues to trend downwards. Someone whose stock is rising, however, is Colorado’s Tristan Da Silva, brother of former MavsDraft darling and current member of FC Barcelona Oscar Da Silva.
Tristan Da Silva initially caught my eye in the Myrtle Beach Invitational around Thanksgiving, where he showcased a promising jump shot and impressive feel for the game. Since then, Da Silva has broken out as a top option on Colorado, scoring double digits in all but 2 of 16 games. Over that stretch, Da Silva is averaging 17.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, and 1.7 SPG on shooting splits of 54/41/69.
Taking it one step further, I have been tracking Da Silva’s progress over the last month, because in January he has scored double digit points in all 7 games he has played. Over that stretch, he is averaging 19.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, and 1.4 SPG on shooting splits of 56/54.5/87.5. Everything is clicking for him, and he passes the eye test as well.
In this game vs Oregon, I was impressed in almost every way by him on offense: ambidextrous finishing, jump shooting in a variety of ways, and three level scoring.
The first thing that stands out for Da Silva is how he shoots in a variety of ways from a variety of spots. In order of the clips, he hits a leaning pull-up, spot-up jumper in transition, a stand-still catch & shoot jumper, an isolation mid range jumper off of jab steps, and a curling three out of the inbounds.
Being 6’8 and having this variety of jump shooting is something teams value. I found myself asking what makes him different from his brother Oscar, whose feel for the game was something I thought would help him stick in the league, but the standout trait is jump shooting with smoother athleticism. If Da Silva can master his shooting and focus on becoming a shooting specialist first to catch the eyes of scouts, he will latch on in the NBA and later be able to showcase his on-ball skills.
On the season, per synergy, Da Silva is shooting a reliable 42% on catch & shoot from three, while taking just one three pointer off the dribble. Despite his two point shooting off the dribble sample size being just 11 shots, he is still efficient there, shooting 5/11.
In addition to his jumper, his finishing stood out as well, being strong in the crowded paint with his left hand. He’s generally a good finisher at the rim, and often plays below the rim in traffic, but his skill and patience help him negate underwhelming athleticism at the rim. He has great footwork, such as the reverse pivot, which can get his man in the air easily.
Defensively, Da Silva leaves a bit to be desired. His lack of athletic pop can hold him back, plus he can over-help on drives and sacrifice the three point shot too much. This cost him against Oregon a few times, and while it may be a schematic issue, he will have to prove that he can be disciplined enough to simultaneously know when and how to be a help defender, and when to stay on the perimeter off-ball.
If Colorado can get hot and win a game or two in the PAC-12 Tournament when all eyes are on them, Tristan Da Silva could be a riser. Da Silva is consistently the best player on the floor, even when going up against first round draft prospects like Kel’el Ware. Look for Da Silva to test the draft waters, and if he returns, he could be on the shortlist of PAC-12 player of the year candidates as a senior in 2024.