Through the first three weekends of the Pac-12 Conference schedule, Lucas Siewert has quite often been the invisible man in the rotation for the Colorado men's basketball team.
That finally changed Thursday night, as the sophomore forward put together arguably his finest performance of the season in the Buffaloes' 82-73 Pac-12 Conference win against Washington State.
Siewert had been held scoreless in the previous three games and in four of the Buffs' first six league games overall. Despite a solid seven-point outing in CU's upset win against Arizona, Siewert entered Thursday's game with a 2-for-10 mark from the field in Pac-12 play while collecting a total of just 10 points and four rebounds.
Siewert matched that rebounding total against the Cougars and surpassed the scoring output, going 4-for-6 from the field to finish with 11 points. It was just the second double-figure scoring effort of the season for Siewert, who scored a season-best 14 in a double-overtime win against South Dakota State on Dec. 15.
"I saw him out here before the shoot-around with coach (Kim) English getting a workout in," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "I think he's been coming in early. Those are the things that Lucas needs to do. When he dedicates himself to this game he can be a very, very good player in this league.
"He was aggressive tonight down low. He played like a 6-10 post guy. That's what we need."
George King and Namon Wright are evolving into perhaps the top rebounding tandem of guards in the league.
King finished with nine rebounds, reaching that total for fifth consecutive game while narrowly missing his third consecutive double-double. Wright, who led Missouri in rebounding two years ago before transferring, suffered through a slow start on the glass but has come on in a hurry, posting his first double-double with the Buffs and the second of his career with 16 points and 10 rebounds against WSU.
After going without a rebound in 29 minutes in CU's loss at Colorado State on Dec. 2, Wright was averaging only 2.9 rebounds per game in his first seven games with CU. Following Thursday's effort, Wright is averaging 5.0 rebounds per game in the 12 games since. That includes a 5.7 mark in Pac-12 play.
"I don't know if it's my challenging him or if it's just something where a light bulb has gone on for him. I don't know," Boyle said. "I know George King is going to rebound it. He's been pretty consistent all year. But I want our guys competing. I want them to get selfish on the boards. When (Wright) does, our whole team gets better. There's no doubt about it."
The Buffs wore decals with the initials and No. 15 jersey number of Julia Sarcona, the CU women's lacrosse player who died in a car accident last week. Before the game a moment of silence was observed for Sarcona and Tyler Hilinski, the WSU quarterback who committed suicide on Tuesday...The Buffs are above .500 in conference play for the first time since the end of the 2015-16 season...It was the second time this year CU had five players score in double figures. The Buffs also achieved that feat against Arizona...In his past three home games, CU senior guard Dominique Collier has shot .650 overall (13-for-20) with a 7-for-11 mark on 3-pointers...King has gone 15-for-31 (.484) on 3-pointers over the past three games.