Colorado-Stanford Tips Off Pac-12 Conference Season
OPENING TIP: Senior forward Evan Battey is 19 points from becoming the 38th player in team history to reach 1,000 points. He would be the fourth member of the 2017 signing class joining McKinley Wright IV, D'Shawn Schwartz and Tyler Bey.
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 5-1 overall after a fourth place finish at the 2021 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The Buffaloes dropped their first game, 67-63, to Southern Illinois before rebounding to win their last two, 84-76 in overtime against Duquesne and 54-52 against Brown.
Colorado is averaging 78.7 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field. While the Buffaloes scored at least 80 points in their first three games, and for the first time since 2009-10, the scoring ÒchilledÓ in the Caribbean. Colorado averaged 67.0 points over the three-game Paradise Jam, shooting just 43 percent.
Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 67.8 points per game while opponents have shot 40 percent. The Buffaloes have outrebounded their six opponents by an average of 11.0 per game. Colorado held Brown to 30.2 percent shooting (16-53) and held a plus-9 advantage on the boards (39-30). Colorado is 74-5 in the Tad Boyle era when holding teams under 40 percent from the field and at least a plus-8 rebound advantage.
Freshman guard Keeshawn Barthelemy is averaging at team best 15.3 points per game and leads the Buffaloes in 3-pointers made and attempted (11 of 19). He had five-straight, double-figure scoring games to start the season - he had two in 30 games last year - before being held to a season-low seven against Brown. Barthelemy is second on the team in assists with 15 and tied for the team lead in steals with six.
On the Pac-12 charts, Barthelemy ranks second in 3-point percentage (.579), eighth in 3-pointers made (1.8 3mpg), ninth in scoring and 11th in field goal percentage (.534).
Sophomore forward Jabari Walker is averaging 15.2 points and leads the Buffaloes at 8.7 rebounds per game. He had his second-straight double-double, and third on the season, with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds vs. Brown. Against Duquesne, he had 13 points and team-season and career-high 13 rebounds.
Walker averaged 13.0 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds at the Paradise Jam. On the overall Pac-12 charts, Walker ranks fourth in defensive boards (6.0 drpg), fifth in overall rebounding, seventh in offensive boards (2.7 orpg), ninth in blocks (1.0 bpg) and 12th in scoring.
Senior forward Evan Battey is averaging 13.7 points and 5.0 rebounds, ranking third on the team in both categories. Battey leads the Buffaloes, and ranks fifth in the Pac-12, in field goal shooting at 61.1 percent.
Battey was named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament Team leading the Buffaloes at 15.3 points per game while shooting 53 percent from the field. He had a team and season-high 18 points against Duquesne along with a career-best three steals. Battey rounded out the Paradise Jam with a game-high 16 points and five rebounds against Brown.
Sophomore Tristan da Silva is averaging 8.2 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 49 percent. He upped those numbers to 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 50 percent at the Paradise. Jam. Da Silva had 10 points against Duquesne, including a 3-pointer with two seconds left that sent the game into overtime. He tied a career-high with 15 points against Southern Illinois. Da Silva also had personal bests with seven rebounds and six field goals made against the Salukis.
Senior guard Elijah Parquet is averaging 7.7 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 42 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.
Nique Clifford is averaging 7.2 points and is second on the team in rebounding 6.5 per game. He tied a personal best with nine rebounds against Brown, matching his effort in the season opener against Montana State. Clifford ranks ninth in the Pac-12 in defensive rebounding (5.0 drpg) and 14th in overall boards.
K.J. Simpson is averaging 6.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while leading the Buffaloes in assists with 16 off the bench. He had a career-high 11 points and four assists in the overtime win over Duquesne.
ABOUT THE CARDINAL: Stanford is 4-2 overall, coming off a 79-65 home win over North Carolina A&T on Nov. 23. The Cardinal and their opponents are even on the scoreboard through six games, each with 411 points (68.5 ppg). Stanford is shooting 44 percent from the field while allowing its opponents to shoot 46 percent. Stanford has a sizeable rebounding advantage at plus-10.2 on the season. The Cardinal lead the Pac-12 in holding their opponents to just 28.3 rebounds per game.
Freshman forward Harrison Ingram leads Stanford at 12.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Senior forward Jaiden Delaire averages 10.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Michael O'Connell averages 5.8 points and leads the Cardinal in assists at 3.3 per outing.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 27th meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Buffaloes holding a 15-11 series edge. The Buffaloes have won 12 of the last 14 over the Cardinal. Colorado is 10-3 all-time at home against Stanford and has won the last seven.
CONFERENCE OPENERS: Colorado is 4-6 in Pac-12 openers and 48-61 all-time in conference openers. The Buffaloes have won their last four home conference openers.
Sunday's game with Stanford will mark the earliest conference game, by calendar date, in team history, surpassing Colorado's 1986-87 Big Eight Conference opener played at Kansas on Dec. 13, 1986. Kansas won that game 59-56 and a whole month would go by before Colorado's second Big Eight game at Iowa State on Jan. 14, 1987.
That game at Kansas will remain as the earliest conference contest played by game number in the post World War II era. The Kansas game was Colorado's fifth of the season in 1986-87, while Sunday's game against Stanford will be the seventh.
Prior to the World War II era, there were numerous seasons where the Buffaloes played conference games in the first few, if not the first, games of the season.
BATTEY MILESTONES: Senior forward Evan Battey, Colorado's active leader in scoring and rebounding, scored 16 points against Brown, moving his career total to 981 which is 39th on CU's all-time list.
With 19 points, Battey will 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 30th in career rebounds at 543. He had seven against Maine to move into the Top 30, passing Austin Dufault (2008-12).