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Men's basketball notes: Eddie Lampkin Jr. sets the tone for CU Buffs

Mar. 9—CORVALLIS, Ore. — Eddie Lampkin Jr. made sure to do his homework prior to Colorado's visit to Oregon State. Then he put those study sessions into action.

It was a superb all-around effort for the CU men's basketball team on Saturday, but it was Lampkin who set the tone in the Buffaloes' 73-57 win at Oregon State in the regular season finale.

CU's 6-foot-11 center collected three putback baskets in the first 14 minutes on his way to his eighth double-double of the season, as Lampkin eventually finished with a team-high 17 points to go with 11 rebounds.

Lampkin was huge early, scoring 11 points in the first half and handing out both of his assists before halftime. Based on what he saw during the prep work for the final Pac-12 trip to Oregon State, Lampkin believed he had an opportunity to be a difference-maker against the Beavers' post players — particularly OSU starting center Chol Marial, who is three inches taller than Lampkin but 30 pounds lighter.

"I've been watching film on them and they weren't really sitting in a double (team) early," Lampkin said. "I was just trying to get to my move as quick as I could. So I just felt like it was more about I'm not worried about a double-team. But when they sent it, I was trying to distribute a little bit.

"I was trying to get back to myself. I feel I haven't been attacking the offensive glass like I should be. But I feel like I did what I needed to do today."

Lampkin finished 8-for-10, increasing his season field goal percentage to .567. Lampkin also has shot at least 50% in 23 of 31 games this season. Lampkin's five offensive rebounds was his best total since he grabbed seven in the Pac-12 Conference opener on Dec. 29 against Washington.

"His offensive rebounding was key," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "Eddie's such a load down there. You can't move him. Marial is 7-foot-2 but he's very thin. When Eddie gets his position down there, he can't be moved. Eddie was a force. He was a force offensively. He was a force defensively. And he was a force emotionally, because his emotions were really positive. When Eddie's got great, positive emotions, he lifts this team. He lifted us (Saturday) and really answered the bell."

Injury update

Once again, the Buffs played without freshman Cody Williams, who missed his fourth consecutive game due to a sprained ankle, and backup guard Julian Hammond III, who missed his fifth consecutive game due to a knee injury.

Boyle said both players worked out during CU's off-day on Friday, but after Saturday's win he gave no indication if either player will be ready for the Pac-12 tournament.

"I don't have an answer for that," Boyle said. "I don't know what they can do, what they can't do. They'll be back when they're back. I wish I had a better feel for it. But I don't."

With Williams and Hammond again sidelined, the Buffs finished the regular season having played 17 of 31 games without at least one of the top rotation players. Saturday's win was the ninth time CU has missed two of its top seven rotation players.

The masked slinger

J'Vonne Hadley told BuffZone he actually has been cleared to ditch the protective mask he has been wearing since suffering a facial fracture during a win at Washington on Jan. 24. Now accustomed to its fit, Hadley has opted to retain the look — particularly since he believes opponents have given the injury a little extra attention.

"They actually told me I could take it off last week," Hadley said. "But I'm not a fan of how I've gotten hit a couple times in every single game since. So there's really no point in me taking it off right now."

Hadley backed up his huge game on Thursday at Oregon by going 4-for-8 from the field and 6-for-6 at the free throw line with 15 points and seven rebounds against the Beavers. He also went 1-for-2 from long range and finished with a .581 3-point percentage (18-for-31) in Pac-12 games.

Notable

CU guard KJ Simpson was left off the final 15-player ballot for the Wooden Award, which was released on Saturday morning. Arizona's Caleb Love is the only Pac-12 player on the list. ... The Buffs won four of their final five Pac-12 visits to Oregon State. ... Simpson became the 10th CU player to score at least 600 points in a season, finishing the game with 609 to pass Stevie Wise and Scott Wilke for ninth among CU's season points leaders. Next up is Cory Higgins (610 in 2010-11) and Derrick White (615 in 2016-17). ... Simpson also became the 21st CU player to surpass 1,300 career points. ... CU senior forward Tristan da Silva tied Wilke for 15th on the Buffs' career scoring list (1,366). ... The Buffs will play in the latest Pac-12 quarterfinal game (9:30 p.m. MT, FS1) on Thursday in Las Vegas.