Buffaloes Host No. 13/15 Tennessee Saturday
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 6-2 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12 Conference, coming off a 73-61 setback at No. 5/5 ranked UCLA on Dec. 1. The Buffaloes opened the Pac-12 schedule with an 80-76 win over Stanford on Nov. 28 - the earliest conference game in the nation this season.
Colorado has won 29 of its last 40 games dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season. During that span the Buffaloes have avenged every loss with a win, with one lone exception; back-to-back losses at California and at Oregon, Feb. 13 & 18.
Colorado is averaging 76.6 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field. Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 69.5 points per game while opponents have shot 42 percent. The Buffaloes have outrebounded their eight opponents by an average of 6.9 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.
Sophomore forward Jabari Walker leads the Buffaloes at 14.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He had a season-high 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds at UCLA, recording his fourth-straight double-double and fifth of the season.
Walker's four-straight double-doubles are the longest such streak by a Buffalo since Tyler Bey had five in a row in the final five games of the 2018-19 Pac-12 schedule. During that four-game span, he is averaging 14.3 points and 12.0 rebounds an outing.
On the Pac-12 charts, Walker is second in overall rebounds, third in defensive rebounds (6.9 orpg), fourth in offensive boards (2.6 orpg), seventh in scoring and 15th in field goal percentage (.481).
Senior forward Evan Battey is averaging 13.5 points while shooting a team-best 59.7 percent from the field and a Pac-12 best 66.7 percent from 3-point range (8 for 12). Battey had a career-high 22 points, hitting all four 3-point attempts, in the conference opener against Stanford.
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-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.
In addition to leading the Pac-12 in 3-point accuracy, Battey is sixth in overall shooting and 14th in scoring.
Freshman guard Keeshawn Barthelemy leads Colorado in assists (21) and 3-point field goals made and attempted (11 of 24) while ranking third on the team in scoring at 13.0 points per game. 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 tied for the team lead in steals with seven.
On the Pac-12 charts, Barthelemy ranks 11th in 3-point percentage (.458), 14th in free throw shooting (.794) and 17th in scoring.
Sophomore Tristan da Silva is averaging 8.3 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 50 percent. He upped those numbers to 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds 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 7.9 points and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 43 percent overall. Parquet had 11 points on 4 of 8 shooting against UCLA.
A member of the Pac-12 Conference's All-Defensive Team in 2020-21, Parquet 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 6.8 points and is second on the team in rebounding 5.5 per game. He tied a personal best with nine rebounds against Brown, matching his effort in the season opener against Montana State. Clifford ranks 19th in the Pac-12 in overall rebounding.
K.J. Simpson is averaging 7.1 points and 2.3 rebounds per game ranking second on the team in assists with 19 off the bench. He is Colorado's third leading scorer over the first two Pac-12 games, averaging 9.0 points while shooting 47 percent.
Simpson earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors on Nov. 29, averaging 9.5 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 55 percent off the bench in Colorado's two wins last week. He scored a career-high 12 points, hitting 5 of 8 from the field in the Buffaloes' conference opener against Stanford. Simpson had seven points, including a perfect 5 of 5 from the free throw line, and four assists against Brown on Nov. 22, in the Paradise Jam finale in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
ABOUT THE VOLS: Tennessee is 5-1 overall, ranked No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 15 in the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll. The Volunteers, winners of the last three, will play their first true road game of the season against Colorado. Tennessee has played a pair of neutral site games, including a convincing 89-72 win over then-No. 18 ranked North Carolina on Nov. 21, in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Conn.
Tennessee's offense is putting up 82.0 points per game while shooting 47.3 percent from the field. The Volunteers lead the SEC and rank fourth in the nation in assists at 20.2 per game. The Tennessee defense has held its opponents to 63.3 points on 40 percent shooting. The Volunteers average 10.5 steals per game.
Santiago Vescovi leads Tennessee at 15.5 points per game and has a team-best 18 3-point field goals. Kennedy Chandler leads Tennessee in assists at 5.2 per game while averaging 15.3 points on 49 percent shooting. Olivier Nkamhoua tops the Vols in rebounding at 6.8 per game while pitching in 10.2 points per contest.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the fourth meeting between Colorado and Tennessee. The Volunteers have won all three previous meetings including a 56-47 decision in Knoxville on Dec. 8, 2020. The Volunteers swept a home-and-home in 1980 & Ô81.
Colorado is 70-117 against current SEC schools, which looks odd, but a 55-96 all-time record vs. Missouri factors into that. Remove the Tigers, and Texas A&M (series tied 9-9), the Buffaloes are 6-12 against the rest of the SEC.
BEHIND THE SERIES: Saturday's game is the second of a three-game series between Colorado and Tennessee that evolved from last season's revolving door of pandemic scheduling.
Colorado and Tennessee were not scheduled to meet in 2020-21 but after both sides experienced early season cancellations due to COVID, the teams put together an agreement that started with the Buffaloes playing in Knoxville on Dec. 8, 2020. The set will conclude with a neutral site game in Nashville in 2022-23.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 0-1 against ranked teams in 2021-22 after dropping a 73-61 decision at No. 5/5 UCLA on Dec. 1. As the Buffaloes get set to take on No. 13/15 Tennessee, it will mark the first time since Jan. 25-27, 2018, that Colorado will face ranked teams in consecutive games. The Buffaloes fell at No. 11/12 Arizona and No. 21/20 Arizona State.
Colorado was 3-3 against ranked teams in 2020-21; its most games against ranked opponents in three seasons.
Colorado's 22 wins over ranked opponents in the Tad Boyle era is by far the best in team history. In fact Boyle coached teams, with a record of 22-37, have accounted for 33 percent of wins over ranked opponents (66) since 1949-50.
CONFERENCE OPENERS: Colorado improved to 5-6 in Pac-12 openers and 49-61 all-time in conference openers with the win over Stanford. The Buffaloes have won their last five home conference openers.
The Stanford contest marked 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 remains 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 a career-high 22 points against Stanford to become the 38th member of the 1,000 point club.
He is 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.
Colorado Career Scoring:
Rk. Player Years Points
30. Jim Davis 1961-64 1,110
31. Larry Vaculik 1974-78 1,084
32. Austin Dufualt 2008-12 1,076
33. Jim Creighton 1969-72 1,032
34. D'Shawn Schwartz 2017-21 1,026
Wilky Gilmore 1959-62 1,026
36. Chauncey Billups 1995-97 1,020
37. Andre Roberson 2010-13 1,012
38. Evan Battey 2018- 1,007
Battey is tied for 29th in career rebounds at 547; 97 away from entering Colorado's career Top 20.
Colorado Career Rebounding:
Rk. Player Years Rebounds
20. McKinley Wright IV 2017-21 644
Donnie Boyce 1991-95 644
22. Brian Johnson 1977-81 628
23. Randy Downs 1982-86 622
24. Wilky Gilmore 1959-62 591
25. Alex Stivrins 1983-85 583
26. Scott Wilke 1984-88 576
27. Frank Gompert 1950-53 555
28. Rodell Guest 1987-91 549
29. Evan Battey 2018- 547
Cory Higgins 2007-11 547
NONCONFERENCE NUMBERS: Colorado is 107-33 (.764) in nonconference regular season games under head coach Tad Boyle including a 60-16 mark (.789) 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.
NOVEMBER 'REIGN': Since the beginning of the 2017-18 season, Colorado is tied with Arkansas for the best winning percentage in the month of November in NCAA Division I. The Buffaloes saw a 13-game winning streak in the month of November snapped against Southern Illinois, 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)
Team W L Pct.
1. Colorado 24 2 .923
Arkansas 24 2 .923
3. Duke 30 3 .909
Gonzaga 30 3 .909
5. TCU 25 3 .893
6. Kansas 23 3 .885
7. Virginia 27 4 .871
8. Michigan 26 4 .867
St. John's 26 4 .867
West Virginia 26 4 .867
LEADERS OF THE PAC: Colorado is tied for the most wins (62) and has the second-best winning percentage (.705) 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. 29, 2021)
W L Pct.
Oregon 62 22 .738
Colorado 62 26 .705
USC 58 25 .699
UCLA 53 30 .639
Arizona 47 27 .635
Stanford 43 34 .558
Oregon State 44 38 .537
Utah 39 35 .527
Arizona State 41 37 .526
Washington State 39 38 .506
Washington 34 47 .420
California 29 50 .367
RIGHT AT HOME: At the CU Events Center, the Buffaloes have won:
- their last 9
- 15 of their last 16 (15-1)
- 28 of 32 (28-4)
- 43 of 49 (43-6)
- 55 of 64 (55-9)
- 76 of 89 (76-13)
- 86 of 100 (86-14)
In the Tad Boyle era, Colorado is 156-28 at home (.848). The Buffaloes are 469-179 (.724) 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.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: Colorado has a 26-22 record in games away from Boulder since February 2019; 12-17 on the road and 13-5 at neutral sites. Colorado was 6-6 in true road games in 2020-21 and 6-2 in neutral site contests.
OVERTIME: Colorado has gone to overtime twice during the preseason schedule for the first time since the 2010-11 season. The Buffaloes dropped an 83-81 decision at San Francisco on Nov. 20, then two weeks later claimed a 90-83 decision over Colorado State in Boulder. It's the earliest in a season the Buffaloes have had two overtime games since the 1996-97 season when Colorado needed the extra session in its first two games in wins over Drake (82-80) and Auburn (78-72).
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)
WALKER ON JULIUS ERVING WATCH LIST: Sophomore Jabari Walker is one of 20 watch list members for the 2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Named after Class of 1993 Hall of Famer and 16-year professional basketball player Julius Erving, the annual honor in its eighth year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men's college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
Walker averaged 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the floor as a true freshman in 2020-21. He earned Pac-12 Conference All-Freshman Team honors last year and was an honorable mention selection to the Preseason All-Pac-12 team this season.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just 5. In March the five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame's selection committee where a winner will be selected.
For more information on the 2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #ErvingAward on Twitter and Instagram.
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.
BUFFS SIGN TWO TO NLI: Joe Hurlburt (6-10, 225, F/C, Enderlin, N.D.) and RJ Smith (6-4, 184, G, Chino, Calif.) have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball and continue their education at the University of Colorado in 2022-23.
Hurlburt, entering his senior season at Enderlin Area High School, was the 2021 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of North Dakota. He averaged 22.6 points, 14.3 rebounds and just under five assists per game as a junior for the Eagles who finished 18-4, advancing to the Class B, Region 1 semifinals.
A four-star prospect, Hurlburt is a two-time member of the Class B All-State Team and a three-time All-Region 1 pick. Rivals lists him as the 113th ranked player in the nation while 247Sports tabs him at 121 and the top recruit in North Dakota. He is already Enderlin's career leader in points (1,607), rebounds, 1,133, assists (259) and blocked shots (180).
Smith is entering his senior season at Damien High School, one of the elite programs in Southern California. As a junior, Smith was named to the All-CIF Southern Section Open Division Team as he helped the Spartans to a 29-4 record and a spot in the CIF State Open Division regional semifinals.
Smith is a two-time, first team All-Area selection by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. He was named Junior Class All-State First Team by CalHiSports.com. Smith played his club basketball for Prodigy Athletic out of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
PAC-12 PRESEASON POLL/HONORS: Senior Evan Battey was named to the media's All-Pac-12 Preseason Team. He was an honorable mention all-league pick last year and a member of the Pac-12 All-Tournament Team. Sophomore Jabari Walker was given honorable mention on the preseason all-conference squad.
Colorado was picked to finish sixth in the annual Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll. The Buffaloes received 235 points, just 10 behind Arizona and Oregon State which tied for fourth at 245. UCLA was the overwhelming favorite to win the title with 404 points and 30 of 32 first place votes. Oregon came in second at 373 followed by USC with 320.
Arizona State was seventh with 224 points followed by Washington State (221), Stanford (151), Utah (105), Washington (85) and California (44).