Colorado Hosts Oregon Thursday
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 13-8 overall and 5-6 in the Pac-12 Conference after going 1-2 during a three-game road trip to the Pacific Northwest last week. The Buffaloes started off the week with a thrilling come from behind win at Oregon, 82-78, on Jan. 25. Colorado couldn't keep the momentum however falling in back-to-back games at Washington, 60-58, on Jan. 27, and at Washington State, 70-43, on Jan. 30.
The Buffaloes have dropped four of five and five of their last seven. Three of those losses have been to ranked teams and five of Colorado's eight overall losses have been to Top 25 opponents. Despite the recent slide, Colorado has won 36 of 53 (36-17) dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
The Buffaloes have fared well in tight contests. Thirteen of Colorado's games have been within six points - or two possessions - with four minutes or less remaining in the game. The Buffaloes are 9-4 in those contests.
Colorado is averaging 69.0 points per game while shooting 43.3 percent from the field. The Buffaloes registered season-lows in points (43) and shooting percentage (.286) at Washington State.
After struggling from 3-point range early in the season, Colorado has made 45 of 112 over the last five games (.402). Colorado shot a season-best 53.3 percent from the 3-point line (8-15) at Oregon and best in a road game since hitting 54.2 percent at UCLA (13-24) on Feb. 6, 2019.
Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 66.5 points per game. Colorado has held its opponents under 70 points in eight of its last 13 games, including a Pac-12 season-low 57 to Arizona State on Jan. 15. The Buffaloes are the second-best rebounding defense team (32.4 rpg) in the Pac-12 and rank fifth in rebound margin (+4.7).
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 13.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Walker recorded his Pac-12 leading ninth double-double of the season with a career-high tying 24 points and 11 rebounds at Oregon. It was his fourth career 20-point game; three of the four have resulted in double-doubles. He was 9 of 11 from the field against the Ducks, tying his career-best for field goals made.
In Pac-12 games, Walker is averaging 14.9 points and a league-best 9.6 rebounds an outing while shooting 50.8 percent from the field.
He had a string of four-straight double-doubles earlier in the season, 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.
Walker leads the Pac-12 in overall boards and defensive rebounds (6.6 drpg) while ranking ninth in scoring, 14th in free throw percentage (.748) and 15th in field goal shooting (.463).
Senior forward Evan Battey is averaging 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting a team-best 50.8 percent from the field. Battey had five points and seven rebounds at Washington State.
On the Pac-12 charts, Battey is eighth in overall shooting and 18th in scoring. During conference games he is shooting 48 percent from 3-point range (13 for 27), ranking third among all Pac-12 players.
Sophomore guard Keeshawn Barthelemy leads Colorado free throw shooting (.833) and 3-point field goals made and attempted (24 of 75) while ranking second on the team in assists (53) and third scoring at 10.7 points per game.
Barthelemy leads the Pac-12 in free throw shooting during conference games at 89.5 percent hitting 34 of 38. He had a season-best string of 16 consecutive made end at Arizona State and followed that up with 15 in a row which ended at Washington. During this last run, he had a team and career-best 9 for 9 performance at Oregon. The 9 for 9 from the line matches the top performance among all Pac-12 players this season.
Senior guard Elijah Parquet is averaging 6.9 points and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 44 percent overall. He had nine points, tied a career-best five rebounds and registered a team season-high three blocks at Washington.
Sophomore Tristan da Silva is averaging 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 43 percent. He is third on the team in assists with 30. Da Silva had 15 points, hitting 5 of 6 from the field at Oregon for his fourth-straight double-figure scoring game and sixth in his last seven. He was 2 of 3 from 3-point range against Oregon and has now made 11 of his last 23 from downtown (.478).
Da Silva is Colorado's second-leading scorer during Pac-12 play at 11.3 points per game and is averaging 12.1 over his last seven contests. He is fourth in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage during conference games (.464) and 13th in overall shooting (.500).
Nique Clifford is averaging 5.9 points, leads the Buffaloes in blocked shots (17) and is second in rebounding at 4.8 per game. Clifford made his first career start against USC finishing with five points, seven rebounds and tying a career-high two blocked shots. Clifford ranks 10th in the Pac-12 in blocked shots during conference games (1.2 bpg).
K.J. Simpson is averaging 6.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game and leads the team in assists (55). He logged his first career start at Washington State, matching his career and team-season best with five assists.
Simpson is shooting 90 percent from the free throw line during Pac-12 play and has a current streak of 17 consecutive made.
ABOUT THE DUCKS: Oregon is 13-7 overall and 6-3 in the Pac-12. The Ducks have won seven of their last eight, with the lone loss coming to Colorado on Jan. 25. Oregon averages 73.9 points while shooting 47.3 percent, the second-best mark in the Pac-12. Defensively, the Ducks allow 67.3 points while opponents shoot 42.8 percent.
Senior guard Will Richardson leads Oregon at 14.9 points and 3.4 assists per game. Richardson has a team-best 44 3-point field goals and shoots 46 percent from beyond the arc. Jacob Young ranks second on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg) and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in steals (32). Guard De'Vion Harmon is third on the team in scoring at 10.7 points per game. N'Faly Dante averages 8.4 points and 5.7 rebounds while leading the Pac-12 in shooting at 71.9 percent.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 25th meeting between Colorado and Oregon with the Buffaloes holding a 14-10 series lead. Colorado snapped a 13-game regular season win streak by the home team in this series with its 82-78 triumph on Jan. 25. The Buffaloes are a perfect 10-0 all-time against Oregon in Boulder.