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Buffs Set To Host No. 16/15 USC Thursday

Jan 19, 2022
Jabari Walker

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 12-4 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-12 Conference after splitting its Arizona road trip last week. The Buffaloes saw a season-best five-game win streak snapped at No. 6 ranked Arizona, 76-55, on Jan. 13, but bounced back with a 75-57 decision at Arizona State on Jan. 15.

Colorado has won at least one game during each of its last five multi-contest Pac-12 road trips. The Buffaloes haven't been "swept" on a conference road trip since falling at California and Stanford at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Overall, the Buffaloes have won nine of their last 12 and 35 of 48 (35-13) dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season. During that span, the Buffaloes have suffered back-to-back losses just twice - once last year, and once this season.

The Buffaloes have fared well in tight contests. Nine of Colorado's games have been within six points - or two possessions - with four minutes or less remaining in the game. The Buffaloes are 8-1 in those contests.

Colorado is averaging 71.4 points per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field. The Buffaloes had a season-high 10 3-point field goals at Arizona State and most in a true road game since hitting 12 at Arizona on Dec. 28, 2020. The Buffaloes hadn't made more than five in any of the previous five games away from Boulder. Colorado shot 40 percent from downtown against the Sun Devils (10 of 25); the Buffaloes had shot 22 percent (18 of 83) in the previous five away from home.

Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 66.1 points per game while opponents have shot 41.1 percent. Arizona State's 57 are the fewest Colorado has allowed to a Pac-12 opponent this season.

Colorado is 6-0 this year in one of the program's "gold standards" of holding opponents to 40 percent of less from the field and least a plus-8 rebound advantage. Colorado improved to 78-5 in those games after holding Arizona State to 33.9 percent shooting and winning the battle of the boards by 15 (46-31).

Colorado tied team season-highs with six blocks and 17 assists against ASU. Colorado's 17 assists are the most in a true road game since dishing out 17 at Utah on Mar. 7, 2020.

Sophomore forward Jabari Walker leads the Buffaloes at 13.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He was the only Buffalo to score in double-figures the first 11 games of the season and has reached that mark in 14 of 16 contests.

Walker has a Pac-12-best eight double-doubles after scoring 18 points and pulling down a career-high tying 13 rebounds against Arizona State.

Walker is averaging a double-double in Pac-12 play at 13.8 points and a league-best 10.5 rebounds an outing while shooting 54.1 percent from the field. He has double-doubles in four of six Pac-12 games.

Seven of his double-doubles have come in the last 12 games. He had a string of four-straight double-doubles earlier in the preseason, highlighted by a season-high 22 points and 11 rebounds at UCLA.  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.

On the Pac-12 charts, Walker is third in overall rebounds and defensive boards (6.5 drpg), 12th in offensive rebounds (2.0 orpg) and 15th in scoring.

Senior forward Evan Battey is averaging 12.3 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting a team-best 53.6 percent from the field. He had 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting along with three assists at Arizona State.

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. 

On the Pac-12 charts, Battey is seventh in overall shooting and 19th in scoring.

Sophomore guard Keeshawn Barthelemy leads Colorado in assists (43) and 3-point field goals made and attempted (19 of 56) while ranking third on the team in scoring at 11.1 points per game.  He had 16 points, tied a career-best nine rebounds and dished out four assists, with no turnovers, at Arizona State.

Barthelemy's 43 assists have come with just 21 turnovers (2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio). In six Pac-12 games, his assist-to-turnover ratio skyrockets up to 5.7 (17 assists/3 turnovers).  He has just seven turnovers with 28 assists over the last 10 games (4.0 a-t).

On the Pac-12 charts, Barthelemy ranks seventh in free throw percentage (.800). He had a career and team-season best streak of consecutive free throws made end at 16 against ASU (finished 6 of 9).

Senior guard Elijah Parquet is averaging 7.1 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 46 percent overall. He celebrated his 100th game in a Colorado uniform with six points and a matching a personal-best four assists against Washington State.

A member of the Pac-12 Conference's All-Defensive Team in 2020-21, Parquet had nine points hitting 3 of 5 from the field against Washington. He has made 23 of his last 46 from the field (.500).

Sophomore Tristan da Silva is averaging 8.8 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 44 percent. He is third on the team in assists with 27. Da Silva had 11 points and tied a career-high with three 3-point field goals. He has made 7 of 14 from 3-point range over the last four games.

Da Silva led Colorado against Washington with a career-high 22 points hitting 9 of 15 from the field and all three shots from the free throw line. His 22 points and nine field goals tie team season highs. It was da Silva's first career 20-point game and overall his seventh career game scoring in double figures.

Nique Clifford is averaging 6.2 points, leads the Buffaloes in blocked shots (12) and is second in rebounding at 5.1 per game. He had eight points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocks at Arizona State.  Clifford is averaging 8.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 50 percent (15 of 30) the last five games. He ranks 10th in the Pac-12 in blocked shots during conference games (1.2 bpg).

K.J. Simpson is averaging 6.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game ranking second on the team in assists with 37 off the bench.  Simpson had career-highs with 17 points and three steals at Arizona while matching personal-bests with four assists and five field goals made.

It was Simpson's third double-figure scoring game and second in Pac-12 play; his previous career-high was 12 vs. Stanford. Simpson is CU's fifth leading scorer in Pac-12 play averaging 8.8 an outing. He leads Colorado with seven steals during Pac-12 play including a pair against Arizona State.

Julian Hammond III earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors on Jan. 10 after his effort against the Washington schools, averaging 8.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.0 assists while hitting 55 percent.

In the win over Washington, Hammond scored a career-high 14 points in just over 12 minutes of action, hitting 5 of 7 from the field including all four 3-point attempts. Against Washington State, he grabbed five rebounds, had four steals and dished out four assists Ð all career-highs. Prior to the WSU game he totaled all of one assist and one steal in his first eight career games.

ABOUT THE TROJANS: No. 16 (AP)/15 (Coaches) USC is 14-2 overall and tied with Colorado for third in the Pac-12 at 4-2. The Trojans won their first 13 games of the season and climbed as high as No. 5 in the AP poll on Jan. 10 before dropping two of their last three contests. USC averages 75.4 points while shooting 48 percent from the floor, the latter ranking second in the Pac-12. The Trojans sport the seventh-best shooting defense in the country, allowing opponents just 37.4 percent from the field. USC also ranks 10th in the nation in rebounds at 41.6 per game.

Isaiah Mobley leads USC at 15.3 points and a Pac-12 best 9.2 rebounds per game. Mobley is also the Trojans' top 3-point shooter at 44.4 percent and 28 made on the season. Chevez Goodwin averages 13.0 points and 7.1 rebounds while shooting 63.6 percent, ranking third in the Pac-12. Boogie Ellis averages 12.6 points while dishing out 2.9 assists per game. Drew Peterson tops the Trojans in assists (3.2 apg) while averaging 11.1 points per outing.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 24th meeting between Colorado and USC with the Buffaloes holding a 16-7 series lead. The Buffaloes have won seven-straight against the Trojans including all three match ups in 2020-21 highlighted by a 72-70 classic in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. Colorado is 8-2 against USC in Boulder, having won the last three.