EUGENE, Ore.— The Colorado Buffaloes will look to get on a hot streak after posting a huge comeback victory at Oregon. Whatever comes next, the immediate future is unlikely to include Lawson Lovering.
The freshman out of Wyoming did not make the three-game trip, which began on Tuesday night with an 82-78 win at Oregon, after suffering an injury at practice on Monday. CU head coach Tad Boyle said after the victory he had not discussed any update regarding the diagnosis with team doctors, and more clarity on Lovering’s status is likely to be revealed in the coming days.
“He had some tests done (Tuesday),” Boyle said. “He won’t be on this trip. I haven’t talked to the doctors yet, so that’s a phone call I’ve got to make (Wednesday). I should have something more definitive on his injury.”
The 7-foot-1 Lovering has struggled for much of his rookie season, posting a .302 shooting percentage with an 8-for-18 mark on free throws while averaging 10.5 minutes per game. Lovering went 0-for-10 over four games before turning in some solid minutes in his last outing during the home loss against UCLA, converting his only field goal attempt with two rebounds, one assist, and a blocked shot in 10 minutes.
Lovering’s absence could allow former walk-on Will Loughlin, now on scholarship, to enjoy more playing time. Loughlin logged two minutes off the bench at Oregon, marking his second appearance of the season and the fourth of his CU career.
CU matched a season high at Oregon with 17 assists, a total the Buffs reached two times previously.
The Buffs’ top five assist marks this season — the three 17-assist games, plus two 16-assist totals — have occurred over the past eight games. That run can be explained partially by CU’s improved shooting, as the Buffs were shooting under 25 percent from 3-point range away from home before going 18-for-40 (.450) from the arc in the past two road games. Yet it also is evidence of a team that is steadily learning to share the ball more efficiently.
“We’ve worked on it a lot in practice. We’ve watched a lot of film on it,” Boyle said. “We did a really good job of sharing the ball and making good decisions. Our decision-making is getting better when we get the ball in the lane. That’s a sign of progress.”
Senior guard Elijah Parquet returned the rotation, if not his spot in the starting lineup. After missing last week’s home losses against USC and UCLA due to a lower right leg injury, Parquet came off the bench to play 21 minutes. Although he was just 0-for-5 from the field, Parquet hit both his free throws and added two rebounds, two assists, and two turnovers.
It was the first time Parquet played but did not start since the end of his sophomore season in 2019-20.
Tuesday’s 15-point rally tied for the fifth-largest comeback victory in a true road game in CU program history. A look at that all-time list:
23 (9-32, 8:03 first half) 63-60 at Kansas State, Feb. 26, 1955
18 (21-41, 1:50 first half) 68-67 at Texas A&M, Jan. 28, 1998
18 (5-23, 11:42, first half) 70-59 at Washington State, Jan. 23, 2021
17 (15-32, 7:07, first half) 78-75 at New Mexico, Dec. 11, 2018
15 (5-20, 14:22, first half) 82-78 at Oregon, Jan. 25, 2022
15 (29-44, 3:48, first half) 91-84 at Auburn, Nov. 17, 2015
15 (28-43, 17:26, second half) 74-71 (OT) at Milwaukee, Dec. 29, 2000
Since going 4-for-20 on 3-pointers at Arizona on Jan. 13, the Buffs have gone 31-for-70 (.443) in the past four games…CU has shot 69-for-86 (.802) in the past four games…Excluding one matchup in the Pac-12 tournament, the home team had won 13 consecutive games in the series, dating back to CU’s previous win in Oregon in 2013…According to an ESPN report published on Tuesday, Louisville is in discussions with head coach Chris Mack regarding his job status, with an official announcement possibly arriving as soon as Tuesday. It hasn’t been a particularly great year with the Cardinals for Mason Faulkner, who briefly joined the Buffs last summer before reversing course and deciding to spend his final collegiate season at Louisville. Faulkner has appeared in 19 games (three starts) and is averaging 5.4 points and 2.9 assists. Faulkner is shooting .372 from 3-point range but just .387 overall.