Buffs Host No. 2 Arizona On Senior Night Saturday
ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado celebrates Senior Night Saturday against No. 2 Arizona. The Buffaloes will honor seniors Evan Battey, Elijah Parquet, Benan Ersek and Will Loughlin with their families prior to Saturday's game and will address the fans in attendance post game.
Colorado is 18-10 overall and in fifth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 10-8. The Buffaloes saw their five-game winning streak end with an 82-65 setback to Arizona State on Feb. 24.
With 18 wins on the season the Buffaloes will finish above .500 for the 11th time in Tad Boyle's 12 seasons. The 10th Pac-12 win assures the Buffaloes a .500 conference record for the fourth-straight year and ninth time in his 12 seasons (eight Pac-12, one Big 12).
Against Stanford, Boyle picked up win No. 251 at Colorado, leaving him 10 from Sox Walseth's program record of 261. Boyle has 108 Pac-12 regular season wins, tying for 20th in conference history with Howard Hobson who coached Oregon from 1936-47.
Overall, Colorado has won 41 of 60 (41-19) dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
Colorado is averaging 70.1 points per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the field. The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 in 3-point accuracy overall (.357) and also in conference only games (.379). The Buffaloes are second in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage overall (.754) and in league only contests (.770).
Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 68.3 points per game. Colorado has held its opponents under 70 points in 13 of its last 20 games, including a Pac-12 season-low 53 to Stanford on Feb. 19. The Buffaloes are the second-best rebounding defense team (31.8 rpg) in the Pac-12 and rank fourth in rebound margin (+5.3).
The Buffaloes have fared well in tight contests. Fourteen of Colorado's games have been within six points - or two possessions - with four minutes or less remaining in the game. The Buffaloes are 10-4 in those contests.
Colorado is 8-0 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 80-5 in those games after holding California to 37.7 percent shooting and winning the battle of the boards by 15 (43-28).
Sophomore forward Jabari Walker leads the Buffaloes at 14.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. He had 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds against Arizona State.
Walker had capped off a run of five-straight double-doubles with 19 points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds at California. His five-straight double-doubles are the most since Tyler Bey had five in a row late in the 2018-19 season. His 14 double-doubles tie Wilky Gilmore (1959-60) for the 12th most in one season.
Walker had a string of 28-straight free throws made end vs. Arizona State, the most since Spencer Dinwiddie hit 33 straight in Feb. 2013. He was a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line at Oregon State, setting personal bests for free throws made without a miss. His perfect performance is the top single-game mark in the Pac-12 this season. Walker also holds a piece of the second-best, having gone 9 for 9 against Utah.
Walker leads the Pac-12 in overall rebounding, defensive boards (7.1 drpg) and double-doubles (14) while ranking seventh in scoring, and 14th in free throw shooting (.783) and offensive boards (2.0 orpg). In Pac-12 games, Walker is averaging 15.4 points and a league-best 10.1 rebounds an outing while shooting 49.7 percent from the field.
The defensive end is where Walker's rebounding numbers really stick out. During Pac-12 play, Walker's 8.3 defensive rebounds per game lead the conference by nearly three per game. USC's Isaiah Mobley is second at 5.8 drpg. Walker has recorded double figures in defensive rebounds alone six times, logging a career-best 14 at California.
On the national leaderboard, Walker is 13th in double-doubles, 17th in defensive rebounds and 29th in overall rebounding.
Senior forward Evan Battey is averaging 11.7 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting a team-best 50.2 percent from the field. Battey had a team-high 13 points and grabbed four rebounds against Arizona State.
Battey averaged 16.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 57 percent (12 of 21) in the two games in the Bay Area. He made all five 3-point attempts and all four free throw attempts.
Battey has risen to the top of the Pac-12 in 3-point accuracy, hitting 50.8 percent for the season (30 of 59). He made all three against Stanford and is 11 for 18 (.611) over the last six games.
On the Pac-12 charts, Battey is 10th in overall shooting. During conference games he is shooting a Pac-12 best 53 percent from 3-point range (26 of 49).
Sophomore guard Keeshawn Barthelemy leads Colorado in 3-point field goals made and attempted (34 of 105), is tied for the team lead in assists (70) and is third scoring at 10.9 points per game.
Barthelemy is third in the Pac-12 in free throw shooting during conference games at 83.8 percent. 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 second run, he had a career-best 9 for 9 performance at Oregon, which at the time was the best mark in the Pac-12 this season and currently is tied for second.
Sophomore Tristan da Silva is averaging 9.0 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 46 percent. He is third on the team in assists with 49. Da Silva scored 15 points at Oregon State, scoring in double figures for the 13th time this season.
Da Silva is fourth in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage during conference games (.453) and 10 in free throw percentage (.805).
Nique Clifford is averaging 6.8 points, leads the Buffaloes in blocked shots (22) and is second in rebounding at 4.8 per game. Clifford, who has started the last 12 contests, had 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds at Stanford.
Clifford ranks 12th in the Pac-12 in blocked shots during conference games (0.9 bpg).
K.J. Simpson is averaging 7.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per game and is tied for the team lead in assists (70). He earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors for the second time on Feb. 21 averaging 13.0 points and 3.0 rebounds during the three-game road sweep. He shot 44 percent from the field and 79 percent from the foul line, hitting 14 of 18 attempts.
Simpson scored in double-figures all three games including a career-high 19 points at California on Feb. 17. He recorded personal-bests at the free throw line knocking down 8 of 10 attempts. Simpson had 10 points, five rebounds and two assists at Oregon State and finished the week with 10 points, two rebounds and two steals at Stanford.
Simpson is fifth in the Pac-12 in free throw shooting during conference play at 81.8 percent. Overall on the season he is 13th in the Pac-12 at 78.6 percent
Luke O'Brien tied a career-best with four assists at Stanford while pulling down five rebounds. He had 14 points at Oregon State hitting 5 of 6 from the field and 3 of 4 from 3-point range. O'Brien logged career highs in points, overall field goals and 3-point field goals. It was his first double-figure scoring game and his first game with multiple 3-pointers.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS: No. 2 ranked Arizona is 25-2 overall and leads the Pac-12 with a 15-1 conference record. The Wildcats sport the nation's third-best offense at 85.2 points per game. Arizona also leads the country in assists (20.5 apg) and rebounds per game (43.2 rpg). Defensively, the Wildcats allow 66.2 points per game while opponents shoot 37.4 percent.
Bennedict Mathurin leads Arizona and ranks second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17.3 points per game. Mathurin shoots 47 percent from the field and is second on the team in 3-pointers (58) and steals (28). Azuolas Tubelis averages 15.5 points while ranking second on the team in rebounding (6.5 rpg) and third in assists (64). Christian Koloko averages 12.0 points while shooting 62.4 percent. Koloko leads the Pac-12 and ranks eighth in the nation in blocks at 3.0 per game. Kerr Kriisa is second in the Pac-12 in assists (5.0 apg) while averaging 10.4 points an outing.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 38th meeting between Colorado and Arizona with the Wildcats holding a 22-15 edge. Arizona won this season's meeting in Tucson, 76-55, on Jan. 13. Colorado is 11-3 against Arizona in Boulder and has won the last four.