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Men's basketball notes: Tristan da Silva returns, but Julian Hammond joins injured list

Jan. 6—TEMPE, Ariz. — Despite a loss, the Colorado men's basketball team gladly welcomed back senior forward Tristan da Silva on Saturday night.

Exactly when the Buffaloes will be at full strength again remains to be seen.

While da Silva scored 17 points in a 76-73 loss at Arizona State on Saturday after missing three games due to an ankle injury, the Buffs remained without talented freshman Cody Williams, who missed his seventh consecutive game due to a left wrist injury. CU also played without junior guard Julian Hammond III, who aggravated a recent back issue late in the first half of Thursday's loss at Arizona.

Hammond didn't play in the second half at Arizona, and his absence on Saturday ended a streak of 75 consecutive games played dating back to early in his freshman season.

"I was not planning on playing (da Silva) 36 minutes. That was not the plan," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "I kept asking him how he is, and he wanted to play, obviously. He showed great grit, great toughness tonight, without a doubt. The plan was not to play Tristan 36 minutes tonight and I feel bad that we did."

Boyle has described Williams as being "close" in recent weeks but still didn't offer a definitive timeline for when the freshman wing might return. However, Boyle did clarify there has been no setback with Williams, who no longer is sporting the wrist brace that was prevalent in the early weeks after his injury.

"These injuries, I get asked about it every day, whether it's Tristan's ankle or Julian's back or Cody's wrist," Boyle said. "So much of it is out of my control. I trust all three of those guys, because I know they're all tough and they're competitors and they want to play."

1,000 points

With 23 points, CU guard KJ Simpson became the 40th player to join the Buffs' 1,000-point club. Simpson will go into Wednesday's game at California with 1,003 points. Simpson also is 17th on CU's career assists list (262) and 19th in career steals (106). Prior to the road trip, Simpson had collected 16 steals in the previous five games, but he didn't record one in either game in Arizona.

Saturday marked Simpson's 10th 20-point game of the season, a total he has reached in six of the past seven games.

Notable

ASU is off to its first 4-0 start in league play since the 2007-08 season. ... Da Silva passed the 1,100-point mark in his career (1,102) and moved eight points behind Jim Davis for 31st-place on the all-time scoring list. ... Luke O'Brien fouled out for the second time in his career. He also fouled out last year at Arizona. ... CU fell to 0-3 in true road games this season.