FORT COLLINS — With senior forward Tory Miller-Stewart sidelined indefinitely due to a broken foot, Colorado men's basketball team desperately needs sophomore Lucas Siewert to continue the early-season improvement he has displayed so far.
However, Siewert continues to deal with an injury issue of his own, and as his abbreviated effort during Saturday's loss at Colorado State showed, Siewert still has plenty of healing to do before he can start patching CU's new void in the middle.
Siewert played just six minutes — all of them during the first half — before remaining on the bench for the bulk of the Buffs' 72-63 defeat. It was Siewert's first appearance since he suffered a sprained right ankle against Drake on Nov. 18.
"His ankle is not 100 percent," Boyle said. "He wasn't 100 percent going into this game and I didn't want him to reinjure it. We need Lucas now obviously with Tory down. We're going to need Dallas (Walton) now with Tory down. CSU played small a lot, which allowed us to play small. But we need Lucas to be healthy. He's not 100 percent yet."
Siewert entered Saturday's game ranked second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per game, and even after going 0-for-1 against the Rams he still owns a solid field goal percentage of .500 (9-for-18).
The Buffs will be off Sunday before reconvening for practice on Monday ahead of a Wednesday night visit from the University of New Mexico.
More Wright stuff
Despite Saturday's loss, the effort at Colorado State proved to be another promising early sign from freshman point guard McKinley Wright. The rookie guard led the Buffs with 18 points and eight rebounds, and he also shared the team lead with Namon Wright with four assists. McKinley Wright almost single-handedly kept the Buffs from getting blown out by leading rallies in both halves, and as Saturday's contest counted as CU's first true road game, facing a hostile crowd for the first time eventually will prove beneficial to the freshman point guard.
"This was a great experience for me personally," McKinley Wright said. "As a freshman, coming in an environment like this in my first road game with a school that hates us. Now I know how it's going to be for the Pac-12 games. It's going to be loud, crazy. We want to be Pac-12 champs and I know what it's like now. I'm ready for the challenges."
Senior George King finished just 1-for-5 on 3-pointers, with several late attempts rattling in-and-out. However that lone made 3-pointer was the 130th of his career, pulling King into a tie with former teammate Xavier Johnson for seventh place all-time at CU. King finished with nine points and needs 15 more to become the 34th member of CU's 1,000-point club...Junior guard Namon Wright finished with a season-low five points at CSU. Namon Wright is shooting just 7-for-27 over the past three games...Freshman Tyler Bey played a season-most 22 minutes, going 2-for-3 from the floor with six points and a season-best six rebounds. Bey is 12-for-13 this season at the free throw line.