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Colorado Opens Paradise Jam Friday With Southern Illinois

Nov 18, 2021

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is off to a 3-0 start for the second time in three seasons after defeating Maine, 90-46, on Nov. 15. 

Colorado's offense is off to a good start as the Buffaloes are averaging 90.3 points over its first three games while shooting 51.5 percent from the field. 

Colorado has scored at least 80 points in the first three games of the season since 2009-10, when the Buffaloes defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff (88-72), Coppin State (82-58) and Texas Southern (88-77).

Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 70.7 points per game while opponents have shot 42 percent. The Buffaloes have outrebounded their three opponents by an average of 17 per game. Colorado held Maine to 32.7 percent shooting (16-49) and held a plus-22 advantage on the boards (45-23). Colorado is 73-5 in the Tad Boyle era when holding teams under 40 percent from the field and at least a plus-8 rebound advantage.

Colorado's 100 free throw attempts are its most in a three-game stretch since Jan. 2-8, 2014 when the Buffaloes had 104 in home games against Oregon State (27) and Oregon (39) and a road game at Washington State (38). The 72 free throws made are the most in a three-game stretch since making 72, Nov. 14-21, in home games against Seattle (26), Louisiana-Monroe (28) and against Notre Dame (18) in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Freshman guard Keeshawn Barthelemy is averaging 20.3 points and 3.3 assists. He had a career-high 22 points in the win over Maine. It was his third-straight, double-figure scoring game to start the season - he had two in 30 games last year. He made his first two 3-pointers against UNM, giving him five straight to begin the season before his first miss (midway through the first half) and is 7 of 10 from downtown in three games. 

Senior forward Evan Battey is averaging 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting a Pac-12 best 75 percent from the field (15 of 20). 

Battey had 16 points and six rebounds against New Mexico. He hit both 3-point attempts – he had just two 3-pointers on 17 attempts in 32 games last year. It's just his second game with multiple 3-point makes, the other coming as a freshman at San Diego (Nov. 20, 2018); his third career game.

Battey had 16 points on a perfect 6 of 6 from the field in the opener against Montana State; a career best for field goals made without a miss.

Sophomore forward Jabari Walker is averaging 15.3 points and leads the Buffaloes at 8.0 rebounds per game. He recorded his third career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds against New Mexico. He was 9 of 12 from the line against the Lobos, setting career highs in both categories.

Senior guard Elijah Parquet is averaging 11.0 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 53 percent overall. A member of the Pac-12 Conference's All-Defensive Team in 2020-21, he had the game's biggest offensive moment against Montana State. 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. 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.

Freshman Luke O'Brien had a personal and team-season high four steals vs. Maine while also tying his career-best with four points (Georgetown last year). He has at least one steal in each game and has six total in just over 32 minutes of playing time which comes to 7.4 steals prorated over a 40 minute game.

PRESEASON TOURNAMENTS: Colorado has won eight preseason tournaments - also called MTE's or multi-team events - most recently the 2019 MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas by defeating Wyoming (56-41) and Clemson (71-67). One of those championships came the last time the Buffaloes were in this tournament, the Paradise Jam, in 2017, played in Lynchburg, Va., due to Hurricane Irma.

Four of Colorado's preseason tournament titles have been won on a neutral court.

Preseason Tournament Titles

2019-20 MGM Main Event, Las Vegas, Nev. (2-0)

2017-18 Paradise Jam, Lynchburg, Va. (3-0, 3 in 3 days)

2012-13 Charleston Classic, Charleston, S.C. (3-0; 3 in 4 days)

2002-03 Pepsi Classic, Charlotte, N.C. (3-0; 3 in 3 days)

1994-95 Mile High Classic, Boulder (2-0)

1993-94 Mile High Classic, Boulder (2-0)

1992-93 Mile High Classic, Boulder (2-0)

1991-92 Mile High Classic, Boulder (2-0)

NONCONFERENCE NUMBERS: Colorado is 105-32 (.766) in nonconference regular season games under head coach Tad Boyle including a 58-15 mark (.795) since the beginning of the 2014-15 season. 

Colorado is 79-5 (.940) in nonconference home games under Boyle, a record which includes a perfect 6-0 mark in postseason action.

ABOUT THE SALUKIS: Southern Illinois is 1-1 on the season, coming off a 73-55 home win over Austin Peay on Nov. 12. The Salukis are averaging 69.5 points while shooting 51 percent from the field. SIU has outrebounded its opponents by 11 per game. Defensively, the Salukis allow 62 points per game while opponents are shooting 43 percent. SIU was picked to finish fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference.

SIU returns 97 percent of its scoring from last year's team and seven players who started 10 or more games a year ago. Junior guard Lance Jones leads the Salukis averaging 21.5 points while shooting 63 percent from the field. Junior forward Marcus Domask is averaging 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and a team-best 3.5 assists. Junior guard Steven Verplancken averages 12.5 points while shooting 60 percent. 

THE SERIES: Colorado and Southern Illinois have met just once. The Salukis took a 94-92 win in Boulder in the first round of the 2000 NIT.