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Buffaloes Celebrate 2021-22 Season At Awards Banquet

Apr 6, 2022

BOULDER – University of Colorado men's basketball head coach Tad Boyle announced the team's 2021-22 season awards Wednesday night at the Buffaloes end of season celebration at the CU Events Center.
 
Jabari Walker received the Chauncey Billups Award as the team's Most Valuable Player. The Chauncey Billups MVP Award is one of five voted on by Colorado men's basketball student-athletes. Elijah Parquet won the Best Defender Award. Nique Clifford and Julian Hammond III shared the Most Improved Player Award. Evan Battey repeated as the Most Inspirational Award winner and also claimed the Tebo Family P.A.S.S. Award.
 
In addition, two annual statistical champion awards were recognized. K.J. Simpson won the McKinley Wright IV Assist Award while Walker won the Stephane Pelle Rebounding Award.

Walker led Colorado at 14.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 78 percent from the foul line. He was an All-Pac-12 Conference First Team pick while also earning all-district honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
 
Walker earned the Stephane Pelle Rebounding Award after leading the Buffaloes with 310, ranking 12th on the program's single-season chart. He topped the Pac-12 in rebounds, defensive boards (7.3 drpg) and double-doubles (17).
 
Simpson received the McKinley Wright IV Assist Award after leading the Buffaloes with 86 (2.7 apg). His 86 assists tie for the seventh-best single-season mark by a freshman in team history. Simpson led or shared the team lead in assists 15 times during the season, highlighted by a team season-high six in the win over Oregon in the Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals.
 
Parquet won the Best Defender Award for the second time.  A 2021 Pac-12 All-Defensive Team pick, Parquet continued to excel at guarding the opposition's best perimeter player until an injury cut his season short after 18 games. He had 14 steals and was one of five Buffaloes with double-figure blocks, recording 13.
 
Co-Most Improved Player Award winners Clifford and Hammond both showed improvement throughout the season, becoming major contributors down the stretch.
 
Clifford, who played sparingly as a freshman on CU's senior-laden 2021 NCAA Tournament team, played in all 33 games as a sophomore, averaging 6.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. He started the final 17 games of the season after Parquet went down with his season-ending injury.
 
Hammond, a true freshman, saw action in 29 games averaging 3.0 points and just over one assist per game. His minutes grew down the stretch and ended up starting the last five games of the season, including a memorable starting debut where he helped the Buffaloes defeat No. 2 Arizona on Senior Night.
 
Battey was voted as the team's Most Inspirational Player for the fourth time and the Tebo Family P.A.S.S. Award winner for the second time. In its fifth season, the Tebo Family P.A.S.S. Awards is named in honor of Stephen Tebo, a long-time supporter of the Colorado basketball program, the award was created to recognize the player, or players, that best exemplified the virtues of Perseverance, Attitude, Selflessness and Success. Battey shared the inaugural honor with George King following the 2017-18 season.
 
Colorado's emotional and energetic leader, Battey was an All-Pac-12 Second Team pick as a senior averaging 12.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He shot 50 percent from the field and a Pac-12-best 49 percent from 3-point range.
 
Battey was a 2021-22 Senior CLASS All-American first team pick and a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. He was one of two inaugural recipients of the Colorado Athletics Visibility Award (CAVA), contributing to the advancement of LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport.

Battey completed his storied Colorado career having played in 88 wins, the most in program history. He's one of only 12 Buffaloes to record 1,300 points and 600 rebounds in a career. Battey ranks fourth in games played (133), eighth in starts (108), 15th in minutes (3,313) and 18th in scoring (1,307) and rebounding (667) in school history.

Colorado finished the 2021-22 season at 21-12 overall and placed fourth in the Pac-12 at 12-8. The Buffaloes eclipsed the 20-win mark for the fourth-straight year, advancing to the 2022 National Invitation Tournament (NIT).