Colorado's top returning scorer and rebounder is senior George King. And the Buffaloes' depth has been vastly improved by a freshman class that should be fun to watch as the season unfolds.

Perhaps lost in the shuffle somewhat through CU's 2-0 start has been the improved play of the team's two sophomores, Lucas Siewert and Deleon Brown.

Both second-year players turned in strong efforts off the bench Tuesday in the Buffs' 89-62 win against the University of Denver, with Siewert establishing a new career-high with seven rebounds and Brown adding 13 points on a 5-for-9 effort from the floor.

"If there is a really pleasant surprise with this team, it's the play of Lucas Siewert and Deleon Brown," CU coach Tad Boyle said. "I've mentioned it before that great strides can be made between your freshman and sophomore years, and I think those kids are showing it that they've made some strides."

Siewert's best rebounding total as a freshman was six, a mark he reached three times in 32 games. He has reached that total in both games so far this season, grabbing six in the opening win against Northern Colorado before adding seven against DU. Siewert also scored seven points on Tuesday and is shooting 4-for-7 on the young season.

After scoring seven points in the opener, Brown fell just two points shy of matching his career-high against the Pioneers. Through two games Brown is shooting 8-for-14.


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"That's really been an emphasis I've been trying to put on this year, just keep being aggressive," Brown said. "Attack the rim, don't settle for the 3-point shot. I know I can hit it, but my focus has been staying aggressive, get to the rim, get to the foul line."

Brown has committed just one turnover in 43 minutes so far, while Siewert has committed only one in 31 minutes.

Bey's breakout

Freshman Tyler Bey was limited to seven minutes in the opener against Northern Colorado due to a bruised midsection he suffered a week earlier in CU's closed scrimmage against SMU. Boyle said Bey would play more against Denver, and the freshman came through with a productive effort.

The highlight was an alley-oop slam fast break slam dunk in the second half from fellow freshman McKinley Wright that capped a game-breaking 12-1 run for the Buffs. That was Bey's only field goal in five attempts, but he went 2-for-3 at the free throw line with five rebounds in just 16 minutes.

"He just needs to slow down," Boyle said. "He's so athletic...he just needs to slow down a little bit when he gets the ball. He rebounded the ball well and he's active. Tyler is going to be a terrific player here. There's no doubt in my mind. I expect him hopefully to play more minutes as we go."

Quotable

"It was weird. Last night we practiced here and had shootaround this morning. It was almost like I had a Buffalo shirt on and I was coming in for work. At the end of the game the reception was great. It was good to see coach (Mike) Rohn and coach Boyle, the guys we battled with for six years. It was bittersweet, now I go back to Denver and we probably won't talk very often. It was definitely fun being here."

— DU coach Rodney Billups, who spent six years on Boyle's staff before taking the job at his alma mater last year.

Notable

Wright, a native of North Robbinsdale, Minn., near the Twin Cities, competed against DU's two Minnesota natives, Joe Rosga and Ade Murkey, in high school...Redshirt freshmen Alex Strating and Dallas Walton scored the first points of their careers. The 7-foot Walton recorded his first points on a 3-pointer, and he finished with five points, four rebounds, and two assists in 12 minutes...CU has won 18 of its past 19 nonconference home games.

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07