On several occasions since the start of Pac-12 Conference play, freshman forward Jabari Walker has given the Colorado Buffaloes a huge lift off the bench.
Yet with Walker sidelined with a foot injury, fellow freshman forward Tristan da Silva is getting more playing time. And on Monday, da Silva showed the future of the CU Buffs’ frontcourt is in good shape.
Da Silva provided a spark off the bench during the Buffs’ 78-49 rout of Oregon State, going 6-for-6 before finishing with 15 points and four rebounds, both of which were season-highs for the rookie from Germany.
“I feel comfortable out there right now,” said da Silva, who will have another chance to square off against his brother, Stanford senior Oscar da Silva, on Thursday. “I really love this group, to be honest. It’s fun to play with them. It starts in practice. They get me the ball a lot. Coach (Tad) Boyle has a lot of confidence in me. I’m just glad they give me the opportunity to make plays and go out there and play my game.”
Da Silva was pressed into action early on Monday after starting forward Evan Battey picked up his second foul just 4 minutes, 33 seconds into the game. Da Silva posted his six field goals in several different ways, twice getting buckets off offensive rebounds in the first half and connecting on a jumper from just beyond the free throw line in the second half.
“I’ve learned a lot from those (older) guys, especially in the front court, in the post and stuff like that,” da Silva said. “It’s not just Jeriah, it’s Evan and Dallas (Walton) and Alex (Strating). Those guys really give me tips and help me to improve my game. I really appreciate that.”
Given that Monday’s game was a makeup date from a postponed matchup originally scheduled for Jan. 9, and that the Buffs had last week’s home date against Arizona State postponed, the Buffs clearly had more energy than OSU despite tipping off less than 48 hours after CU’s win Saturday night against Arizona.
The Beavers, on the other hand, were playing their third game in five days after posting a home sweep of the Washington schools over the weekend. After traveling to altitude, the Beavers were unable to match the Buffs’ energy.
“We caught Oregon State on the third game in (five) days,” Boyle said. “They had to travel after playing Saturday. We did not get their best shot. They’re a better team than they played tonight. We know that, they know that. That’s the same team that beat Oregon at Oregon and beat USC at home. We’re going to see a different Beavers team in a couple weeks in Corvallis, I promise you.”
In the polls
The Buffs very nearly entered the AP top 25 this week, gaining 33 points in the vote and finishing 26th as the top team among others receiving votes. While it was the highest position the Buffs have posted in the weekly poll this season, it still was only their fifth-highest point total in the vote this year.
USC replaced UCLA as the only Pac-12 team in the top 25, entering at No. 20. The Buffs were 24 points behind No. 25 Rutgers.
After getting outrebounded in four consecutive games for the first time since late in the 2011-12 season, CU outrebounded Oregon State 34-33…It was another efficient game for starting guard Eli Parquet, who went 4-for-6 with eight points, three assists, two rebounds, and a steal in 26 minutes. Parquet posted a .340 shooting percentage through his first two seasons but is now shooting .474 (37-for-78) this year.