Buffs Host No. 9 UCLA Saturday
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 12-5 overall and 4-3 in the Pac-12 Conference after dropping a 61-58 decision to No. 16 (AP)/15 (Coaches) USC on Jan. 20. The loss snapped the Buffaloes' eight-game home winning streak in conference games.
Overall, the Buffaloes have won nine of their last 13 and 35 of 49 (35-14) 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. Ten of Colorado's games have been within six points - or two possessions - with four minutes or less remaining in the game. The Buffaloes are 8-2 in those contests.
Colorado is averaging 70.6 points per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field. The Buffaloes had just 16 field goals made and shot 31.4 percent against the Trojans, both season lows.
After struggling from 3-point range early, Colorado has made 17 of 40 over the last two games (.425). 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 65.8 points per game, ranking fifth in the Pac-12. Colorado has held its opponents under 70 points in seven of its last nine games, including a Pac-12 season-low 57 to Arizona State on Jan. 15. USC was held to 61 points, the Trojans' second-fewest of their 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).
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 15 of 17 contests. Walker also tops the Buffaloes in steals, after grabbing a career-best three against USC.
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 13.7 points and a league-best 10.1 rebounds an outing while shooting 51.4 percent from the field. He has double-doubles in four of seven Pac-12 games.
Seven of his double-doubles have come in the last 13 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), 13 in scoring and 15th in offensive rebounds (1.9 orpg).
Senior forward Evan Battey is averaging 12.2 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting a team-best 52.0 percent from the field. Battey had 10 points and grabbed a season-high eight rebounds against USC. He had 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting along with three assists at Arizona State.
On the Pac-12 charts, Battey is seventh in overall shooting and 18th in scoring. During conference games he is shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range (8 for 18), ranking fourth among all Pac-12 players.
Sophomore guard Keeshawn Barthelemy leads Colorado in assists (45) and 3-point field goals made and attempted (19 of 59) while ranking third on the team in scoring at 10.9 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 45 assists have come with just 22 turnovers (2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio). In seven Pac-12 games, his assist-to-turnover ratio skyrockets up to 4.8 (19 assists/4 turnovers). He has just eight turnovers with 30 assists over the last 11 games (3.8 a-t).
On the Pac-12 charts, Barthelemy ranks sixth in overall free throw percentage (.811) and leads the league in conference games at 88.0 percent. 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 3.4 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 against Arizona State. He has made 9 of 17 from 3-point range (.529) over the last five 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 6.1 points, leads the Buffaloes in blocked shots (14) and is second in rebounding at 5.2 per game. Clifford made his first career start against USC finishing with five points, seven rebounds and tying a career and team-season high two blocked shots.
Clifford is averaging 7.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting 49 percent (17 of 35) the last six games. He ranks eighth in the Pac-12 in blocked shots during conference games (1.3 bpg) and 20th in rebounds (5.1 rpg).
K.J. Simpson is averaging 6.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game ranking second on the team in assists with 39 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 8.5 an outing. He leads Colorado with seven steals during Pac-12 play including a pair against Arizona State. In conference only games, Simpson ranks fifth in free throw percentage (.857) and 15th in steals (1.2 spg).
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 - 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 BRUINS: No. 9 ranked UCLA is 12-2 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12. The Bruins are coming off a 63-58 win at Utah on Jan. 20 to hold onto their second-place position in the conference standings. UCLA averages 79.4 points per game, ranking second in the Pac-12 and 28th in the nation. The Bruins shot 45.6 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from 3-point range. UCLA is one of the best teams in the country in terms of taking care of the ball. The Bruins turn the ball over just 9.7 times per game, ranking ninth in the nation. Defensively, UCLA allows 66.2 points while opponents shoot 41.8 percent.
Johnny Juzang leads UCLA at 17.9 points per game along with a team-best 28 3-point field goals. Jules Bernard averages 13.3 points and 4.9 rebounds while ranking second on the team in assists with 31. Jaime Jaquez, Jr., averages 12.8 points while ranking second on the team in both steals (14) and rebounds (5.7 rpg). Myles Johnson leads UCLA in rebounding at 5.9 per game while averaging 4.4 points on 61.0 percent shooting. Tyger Campbell tops the Bruins in assists (61) while averaging 12.2 points an outing.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 23rd meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding a 15-7 advantage. UCLA took the first meeting of the season, a 73-61 decision on Dec. 1, in Los Angeles. Colorado holds a 5-4 advantage in Boulder, including a 70-61 decision on Feb. 27, 2021.