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Lucas Siewert providing steady bench presence for No. 23 CU Buffs

CU’s only four-year senior gradually etching name in program lore

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Lucas Siewert has never broken out with a monster season for Colorado, and he still needs to put together a solid stretch run to say he finally has logged a complete season for the Buffaloes.

All-conference accolades and even a starting role for the Buffs haven’t been in the cards for CU’s only four-year senior. Nevertheless, as Siewert embarks on the final stages of his time at CU, he does so as a player who has contributed solid numbers off the bench for the bulk of the season.

Siewert was the only frontcourt player who matched or even exceeded his season averages during last week’s loss at Arizona, and he looks to continue his timely contributions when the 23rd-ranked Buffs host Washington State in a Pac-12 Conference battle on Thursday night (8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

“I want to encourage Lucas to be as aggressive as he can be on offense. We want him taking good shots,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “Only time will tell if he can continue, but he has become a dependable guy. I think his teammates trust him. I know his coach trusts him. Now it’s just up to him to deliver.

“He doesn’t have to do it in terms of shooting the ball every single night. He just has to be a threat. Because the one thing Lucas does is he stretches the floor for us. By stretching the floor you may not get threes, but a team’s game plan may be, ‘We’re going to take his threes away.’ That’s OK. What that does is it opens it up for our post guys on the block to go to work.”

Siewert was one of the few Buffs to put together two solid games during a road split through Arizona last week. He was the offensive star in a win at Arizona State, hitting three 3-pointers in the first half to rally CU from an early deficit before finishing with 14 points. And though CU struggled on the glass in a 21-point loss at Arizona, Siewert finished with seven rebounds — his third-highest total of the season.

“He’s become a good rebounder,” Boyle said. “Lucas’ game has evolved, and we need him to be good. He’s a senior and he needs to play like a senior. Shane (Gatling) is a senior, he needs to play like a senior. Shane didn’t play like a senior against Arizona. Lucas did. Lucas has played like a senior pretty much all year.”

BOULDER, CO - Dec. 10, 2019: ...
Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer
Lucas Siewert, right, has been a force off the bench for Colorado this season and will end his career in the top-10 of several offensive shooting categories.

Despite the lack of breakout success, Siewert’s steady production nonetheless has him on pace to etch his name in CU basketball lore before his senior season is done. Siewert needs to make 11 more 3-pointers to match Levi Knutson and Donnie Boyce at 129 for the ninth-most in program history. His .403 3-point percentage has Siewert on pace to crack CU’s all-time top 10 single-season marks (Marcus Relphorde’s .394 mark in 2010-11 ranks 10th), and his .387 career 3-point percentage currently ranks fifth.

Though Siewert may not start a game his senior season, his overall dependability — he has missed just two games due to injury in three and a half seasons and counting — has him on pace to finish at least sixth at CU in all-time games played. A deep run in the Pac-12 tournament or the postseason would nudge Siewert into the top five.

“It’s definitely something that’s good to see,” Siewert said. “So many great players have come before us. To have your name among those names is something pretty special. But that’s not the focus right now. That’s something to look at later.

“It’s just about finding a role. I feel like each year I had a different role because guys got hurt, or guys left. My freshman year we had a lot of bigs and it was always different roles. So I think just finding my role and staying consistent with that is something that probably has caused this to happen.”