Colorado Hosts New Mexico Saturday
OPENING TIP: Saturday will mark the 500th game for Tad Boyle as a collegiate head coach. He is 290-209 in his 16th season leading an NCAA Division I program.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado opened the 2021-22 season in thrilling fashion with a 94-90 overtime win over Montana State on Nov. 9, at the CU Events Center. The Buffaloes overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to force overtime, then outscored the Bobcats 14-10 in the extra session to record their sixth-straight season-opening win.
Senior guard Elijah Parquet, a member of the Pac-12 Conference's All-Defensive Team in 2020-21, had the game's biggest offensive moment. Parquet's 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 80 and sent it to overtime. He finished with 17 points, hitting 5 of 11 from the field and 6 of 9 from the free throw line - all career highs.
Five Colorado players scored in double-figures in the opener - a feat achieved only once in 32 games in 2020-21. Two of those came from sophomores who had break out games after limited action a year ago. Keeshawn Barthelemy had a game and career-high 19 points and dished out five assists. Nique Clifford had 11 points and nine rebounds - both personal highs. Clifford had just 14 points and four rebounds total in 14 games as a freshman.
Senior forward Evan Battey had 16 points on a perfect 6 of 6 from the field; a career best for field goals made without a miss. Sophomore forward Jabari Walker had 14 points, eight rebounds and a career-best three steals.
DEBUTS: Colorado sophomores Jabari Walker and Tristan da Silva made their first career starts against Montana State, while ture freshmen K.J. Simpson and Lawson Lovering made their collegiate debuts.
NOTING THE OPENER: Colorado improved to 84-35 (.706) in all-time season openers and has won its last six. The Buffaloes are 10-2 under head coach Tad Boyle and 37-5 in overall season openers since 1980-81.
The Buffaloes improved to 95-24 (.798) all-time in home openers and have won their last 14, making Boyle a perfect 12-0 in home openers. The Buffaloes have won 20 of their last 21.
Colorado went to overtime in a season opener for the first time since Nov. 24, 1996, when the Buffaloes edged Drake 82-80 at the CU Events Center. That 1996-97 team, led by sophomore point guard Chauncey Billups, would win 21 games, finish second in the inaugural season of the Big 12 Conference and make the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
NONCONFERENCE NUMBERS: Colorado is 103-32 (.763) in nonconference regular season games under head coach Tad Boyle including a 56-15 mark (.789) since the beginning of the 2014-15 season.
Colorado is 77-5 in nonconference home games under Boyle, a record which includes a perfect 6-0 mark in postseason action.
NOVEMBER 'REIGN': Since the beginning of the 2017-18 season, Colorado has the best winning percentage in the month of November in NCAA Division I. The Buffaloes have won their last 11 games played during the month, a streak that began with a 93-56 win at Air Force on Nov. 24, 2018.
Best Record In November (NCAA I, Since 2017-18, Through Nov. 11)
Team W L Pct.
1. Colorado 19 1 .950
2. Duke 24 2 .923
Gonzaga 24 2 .925
4. Michigan 23 2 .920
5. Virginia 22 2 .917
6. TCU 21 2 .913
7. Florida State 20 2 .909
8. Kansas 19 2 .905
Arkansas 19 2 .905
10. Maryland 24 3 .889
ABOUT THE LOBOS: New Mexico is 1-0, opening its season with a 99-92 win over FAU, in The Pit, on Nov. 10. It was Lobos' first home game since Feb. 29, 2020 (621 days) as they didn't play inside the state of New Mexico's borders in 2020-21 (11 road, 11 neutral). New Mexico shot 53 percent overall and scored 56 second half points to outlast FAU.
Guard Jaelen House, a transfer from Arizona State, scored 30 points and dished out six assists in his New Mexico debut. Forward Jay Allen-Tovar had 18 points and led the Lobos with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Forward Gethro Muscadin had 18 points on 6 of 8 shooting off the bench.
New Mexico, which finished 6-16 in 2020-21, shared the eighth spot with Wyoming in the 2021-22 Mountain West Conference Preseason Poll.
THE SERIES: This will be the 16th meeting in the series with Colorado holding an 8-7 edge. The Buffaloes have won the last two, a home-and-home series played in 2017 and '18. Colorado claimed a 75-57 win at the CU Events Center on Dec. 6, 2017. In the return trip to The Pit a year later, the Buffaloes overcame a 17-point deficit to sneak out of Albuquerque with a 78-75 victory on Dec. 11, 2018.
Colorado's Evan Battey is the only player on either roster to compete in that contest. Battey, a redshirt freshman at the time, just missed a double-double scoring 10 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Current Colorado seniors Elijah Parquet and Benan Ersek were on the Buffaloes' roster for that game, but did not play.
Tad Boyle is 2-1 as a head coach against New Mexico. This will be Richard Pitino's first game against Colorado as a head coach.
BATTEY MILESTONES: Senior forward Evan Battey, Colorado's active leader in scoring and rebounding, scored 16 points in the win over Montana State becoming the 44th player in team history to reach 900 - finishing at 915
With 85 points, Battey would become the 38th Colorado player to reach 1,000 in his career. Additionally, he would be the fourth member of the 2017 signing class to reach that milestone. McKinley Wright IV (2017-21) leads that group at sixth overall at 1,857. Tyler Bey (2017-20) is 29th at 1,113 while D'Shawn Schwartz (2017-21) is tied for 34th at 1,026.
Battey is 32nd in career rebounds at 518, needing 11 to jump into CU's top 30.
LEADERS OF THE PAC: Colorado has the second-best win total (57) and winning percentage (.704) among Pac-12 teams since February 2019. Colorado was 12-4 over the final two months of the 2018-19 season, culminating in a spot in the NIT Quarterfinals. The Buffaloes were 21-11 in 2019-20, well in line for an NCAA Tournament bid before the season was shut down on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Colorado was 23-9 in 2020-21, tying for the third best win total in team history and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Pac-12 Overall Records Since Feb. 1, 2019 (through Nov. 11, 2021)
W L Pct.
Oregon 58 19 .753
Colorado 57 24 .704
USC 52 25 .675
UCLA 47 29 .618
Arizona 42 27 .609
Oregon State 44 32 .579
Arizona State 40 32 .563
Stanford 40 31 .563
Utah 35 33 .515
Washington State 34 37 .479
Washington 31 44 .413
California 26 47 .356
RIGHT AT HOME: At the CU Events Center, the Buffaloes have won:
- their last 6
- 12 of their last 13 (12-1)
- 25 of 29 (25-4)
- 40 of 46 (40-6)
- 52 of 61 (52-9)
- 73 of 86 (73-13)
- 83 of 97 (83-14)
In the Tad Boyle era, Colorado is 153-28 at home (.845). The Buffaloes are 466-179 (.722) all-time at the CUEC. The Buffaloes, 11-1 at the CUEC in 2020-21, have won at least 10 games at home each of the last 12 seasons.