Colorado Basketball – December, 2021

December 30th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women’s weekend in Oregon postponed due to CU COVID issues

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado women’s basketball team won’t be going to Oregon this weekend.

On Wednesday, CU announced that COVID-19 issues within the program have caused the Buffaloes to postpone games at Oregon State on Friday and at Oregon on Sunday. CU’s conference travel partner, Utah, will also postpone its two games this weekend in Oregon.

The Buffs (11-0) have not played since Dec. 20 and were set to open Pac-12 play Friday in Corvallis, Ore.

Instead, the women will remain sidelined along with the CU men’s team, which is dealing with COVID-19 issues of its own. The men were forced to cancel a Dec. 21 home date with Kansas and then postponed their own trip to Oregon this week. The CU men have rescheduled their game at Oregon, however, for Monday night.

Following a Christmas break, the CU women returned to practice on Sunday. The Buffs were off Monday and practiced Tuesday.

… As of Wednesday evening, 10 of the 12 originally scheduled games for the opening weekend of Pac-12 play in women’s basketball have been postponed. The only games still scheduled are in Pullman, Wash., as Washington State is set to host California on Friday and Stanford on Sunday.

For now, CU’s next scheduled game is Jan. 7 against Southern California at CU Events Center.

Read full story here

 

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December 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU at Oregon re-scheduled for Monday, January 3rd (8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com

The University of Colorado’s men’s basketball game at Oregon has been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 3, in Eugene, Ore. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. MT and air on the Pac-12 Network and KOA 850 AM and 94.1 FM.

The game had originally been slated for Thursday, Dec. 30, but was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Buffaloes’ program.

Colorado is still working with Oregon State to reschedule the game in Corvallis, originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 1, that was affected by the Buffaloes’ COVID-19 issues. Following the Oregon game, the Buffaloes, 9-3 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12, are next scheduled to host Washington State on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. at the CU Events Center.

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December 27th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs may be able to get in one of the Oregon games before the next home game (WSU, Jan. 6th)

From the Daily Camera … The holiday joy has been absent for Colorado men’s basketball fans, first with the cancellation of the Dec. 21 showdown at home against Kansas, then with Sunday’s announcement that the first two-game road trip in Pac-12 play this week in Oregon has been postponed.

If there is a glimmer of hope, it’s that the Buffaloes are hoping they aren’t sidelined quite as long as initially expected.

In an interview with BuffZone following another personnel-challenged practice on Monday, head coach Tad Boyle said his program already is in discussions with Oregon and Oregon State about setting makeup dates. Certainly nothing is set in stone, but Boyle said if his club can get enough players cleared of COVID quarantine protocols in time, the Buffs might hit the road shortly after New Year’s to face one of those Oregon schools ahead of the Jan. 6 home date against Washington State, which currently is the next scheduled game for CU.

The Buffs’ two one-game weeks against Utah — the week of Feb. 7 and the week of Feb. 28, the final week of the regular season — also remain options, though both Oregon teams have regular two-game schedules on the docket for those weeks. Boyle also said making an extended trip to the Pacific Northwest in late January might be an option if the Buffs can reschedule one of the Oregon games ahead of their trip to Washington, which begins Jan. 27 at UW.

Continue reading story here

CU road trip to play Oregon schools postponed 

Press release from CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado’s men’s basketball games at Oregon on Thursday, Dec. 30, and Oregon State on Saturday, Jan. 1, have been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Buffaloes’ program.

Colorado will work with both schools and the Pac-12 Conference to reschedule the games for later dates. The postponements mark three-straight games for the Buffaloes affected by COVID-19 protocols. Colorado’s nonconference finale against Kansas on Dec. 21 at the CU Events Center was canceled.

Colorado will continue to coordinate with team medical staff and campus health officials in monitoring the program’s status on a daily basis. The Buffaloes, 9-3 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12, are next scheduled to host Washington State on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. at the CU Events Center.

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December 26th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tournament projections: CU on the outside looking in as Pac-12 play resumes

From The San Jose Mercury News …Arizona’s narrow loss at Tennessee on Wednesday evening was the last high-profile, non-conference matchup for the Pac-12 before round-robin league play ramps up next week.

The numbers, for your consumption:

— Against AP top-25 opponents, the Pac-12 is 2-11.

— Against Power Six opponents, it’s 7-15.

— Against the West Coast Conference, it’s 6-6.

By any measure, the past six weeks have been underwhelming for all but three teams.

As the data below suggests, Arizona, USC and UCLA are locks for the NCAA Tournament.

Everyone else is either on the outskirts of the bubble or nowhere near the bubble.

For those unfamiliar with the NET rankings cited below (or in need of a reminder):

The result of each game played falls within one of four quadrants, based on the NET ranking of the opponent and location of the game. The categorization changes over time as teams move up and down the NET.

Quadrant 1: Home vs. Nos. 1-30, Neutral vs. Nos. 1-50, Away vs. Nos. 1-75
Quadrant 2: Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135
Quadrant 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240
Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353

For example: UCLA’s victory at home over No. 12 Villanova counts as a Quadrant I win for the Bruins.

Essentially, teams want to load up on Quad I and II wins and avoid Quad III and IV losses.

Listed in order of NET ranking …

Arizona
NET Ranking: No. 2
Record vs. Quad I and II: 4-1
Record vs. Quad III and IV: 7-0
NCAA projection: No. 2 seed
Comment: The loss at No. 8 (NET) Tennessee will have no material impact on the Wildcats’ trajectory. If anything, it removes the pressure of being undefeated entering conference play.

USC
NET Ranking: No.13
Record vs. Quad I and II: 2-0
Record vs. Quad III and IV: 10-0
NCAA projection: No. 5 seed
Comment: The Trojans are one of five undefeated teams left, along with Baylor, LSU, Iowa State and Colorado State. But their non-conference strength of schedule (No. 247 in the Pomeroy efficiency ratings) leaves much to be desired.

UCLA
NET Ranking: No. 21
Record vs. Quad I and II: 2-1
Record vs. Quad III and IV: 6-0
NCAA projection: No. 3 seed
Comment: The Bruins have played one game since Dec. 1, so expect significant rust once they return to competition. It might take weeks to regain top form.

Colorado (No. 7 in the Pac-12) 
NET Ranking: No. 107
Record vs. Quad I and II: 0-2
Record vs. Quad III and IV: 9-1
NCAA projection: no bid
Comment: Eliminate the big three, and the rest of the conference has a 2-18 record in Quad I games. Granted, a few of those are intra-league results. But still.

Continue reading story here

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December 23rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Pac-12 announces updated COVID policies: No forfeitures

From the San Jose Mercury News … With COVID threatening to derail college basketball, the Pac-12 announced Wednesday a series of policies for the remainder of the 2021-22 season that are based on the procedures used last year.

As always, local public health requirements have priority.

Key tenants, which apply to the men and women for round-robin league play, include:

— Player and coach thresholds.

Teams must be available to compete if they have at least seven available scholarship players and one available coach. If there are fewer than seven scholarship players, teams have the option to play. If they decide not to compete, the participants and conference office will work to reschedule.

— No contests/forfeitures.

Games that cannot be played will either be rescheduled — “while being mindful of student-athlete health and safety considerations,” according to the conference — or declared no contests.

There will be no forfeitures, except for one situation:

“The Conference office shall have the option to levy a forfeit in the event the Conference standards of sportsmanship are not met in the process of attempting to reschedule a contest.”

The UCLA-Washington game earlier this month was declared a forfeiture at the time because the Huskies were unable to play. The result of that game will be changed to a no contest if it cannot be rescheduled.

— Return to play.

Once a team has enough healthy players, it will have at least two days of full practice before competing.

Of note: “The impacted institution may elect to play the game earlier than the two-day minimum buffer if the quarantined individuals (who are not infected) engage in conditioning during the quarantine period.”

Continue reading story here

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December 21st – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

***CU/Kansas game canceled***

Press Release from CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball game against the University of Kansas scheduled for tonight at the CU Events Center has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Buffs’ program.

“Our top priority since the start of the pandemic has been the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and the community,” CU Athletic Director Rick George said. “While we’re disappointed for our student-athletes and fans to have to cancel the game, both schools agreed this is the best decision.”

Fans with season tickets or single game tickets who made their original purchase from the CU Athletics Ticket Office have the following options:

  • Donate the value of the tickets to the Buff Club for end of year tax purposes and double priority points.
  • Request a credit on your account to be used this season.
  • Request a refund to their original form of payment.

Those who bought their tickets through the CU Athletic Ticket Office will be contacted via email this evening with an outline of the process, and prompted to respond with their preference by 5 p.m. Jan. 7.

The CU men’s basketball program will coordinate with team medical staff and campus health officials on next steps regarding team activities. The Buffs’ next game is not until Dec. 30 at Oregon.

Buffs set to host Jayhawks: “It’s a hell of an opportunity”

From CUBuffs.com … As Colorado coach Tad Boyle is fond of saying, the price of poker goes up considerably for his Buffaloes beginning this week.

The Buffs (9-3 overall, 1-1 Pac-12) wrap up the non-conference portion of their schedule Tuesday with a 7 p.m. game against seventh-ranked Kansas, then take a holiday break before hitting the road for the first two of 18 straight conference games.

Colorado plays at Oregon on Dec. 30 (9 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks), then at Oregon State on New Year’s Day (6:30 p.m., Pac-12).

The matchup with the 9-1 Jayhawks will be Colorado’s third against a ranked team this season, following a game at UCLA (No. 5) and at home against Tennessee (No. 13). CU lost both of those encounters.

Tuesday’s game is expected to be sold out.

“I’m looking forward to having the CU Events Center full of Buff fans,” Boyle said Saturday after Colorado defeated CSU Bakersfield at home. “More importantly than that, it’s having our team ready to play and having them ready to defend a very efficient offensive team that has really good players … We’re going to have to make shots. We’ll have to execute. We’ll have to be strong with the ball. It’s a hell of an opportunity. That’s all you can ask for in life.”

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … 

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 9-3 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes brushed off the rust from an eight day finals break with a 60-46 win over CSU Bakersfield on Dec. 18.

Colorado wraps up a season-long five-game homestand against Kansas on Tuesday as well as wrapping up the nonconference regular season schedule. The Buffaloes will have a nine-day layoff for the Holidays before resuming Pac-12 Conference play on Dec. 30th at Oregon. Colorado opened the Pac-12 schedule with an 80-76 win over Stanford on Nov. 28 – the earliest conference game in the nation this season.

Colorado has won 32 of its last 44 games dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season. With the win over Eastern Washington, the Buffaloes bounced back from just their second two-game losing streak in the last two seasons, and now has won their last three and six of eight overall.

The Buffaloes have fared well in tight contests. Eight of Colorado’s 12 games have been within six points – or two possessions – with four minutes or less remaining in the game. The Buffaloes are 7-1 in those contests.

Colorado is averaging 71.0 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 Conference, and rank in the Top 10 nationally, in free throws made and attempted.

Colorado’s 194 free throws made rank 9th in NCAA Division I while its 247 attempts are 10th. Against CSU Bakersfield, Colorado had a season-high 16 assists and on just 19 made baskets. The 84.2 percentage of assists to made field goals is the best in the Boyle era, besting the 82.1 percent against Jackson State on Nov. 16, 2013 when the Buffaloes had 23 assists on 28 buckets.

Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 65.2 points per game while opponents have shot 41 percent. Colorado’s defense has tightened the last three games, allowing just 52.3 points an outing.

ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS: No. 7 ranked Kansas is 9-1 overall and winners of its last five. The Jayhawks lone loss was a 74-73 setback to Dayton on Nov. 26. Kansas boasts the third-best shooting team in the nation at 51.9 percent. The Jayhawks average 85.8 points per game, ranking eighth nationally. Defensively, Kansas allows 67.5 points while opponents shoot 43.8 percent. The Jayhawks average 7.7 steals and 4.5 blocked shots per game.

Ochai Agbaji is the nation’s fifth leading scorer at 22.0 points per game. The senior guard is shooting 56 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point range. Christian Braun is averaging 16.8 points while leading Kansas at 6.7 rebounds per game and hitting 62.6 from the field, a percentage that ranks 15th in the nation. Remy Martin, who starred for four years at Arizona State, is averaging 10.8 points and 3.2 assists for the Jayhawks as a “super senior.” David McCormack averages 8.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while leading Kansas with 15 blocked shots.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 165th meeting between the long-time rivals that were conference foes in the Big 7/8/12 from 1947-2011. It will be the fourth meeting since the Buffaloes left for the Pac-12 in 2011 (KU has the edge in two of those three). Tuesday’s game was originally scheduled to be played in December 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic altered everyone’s schedules last winter.

Kansas holds a 124-40 all-time lead in the series that dates back to 1931. The Jayhawks own a 40-27 edge in Boulder, although the Buffaloes won the last meeting in the CU Events Center, a 75-72 thriller on Dec. 7, 2013 where Askia Booker hit a 30-foot runner at the buzzer to upset the No. 6 ranked Jayhawks.

Continue reading Game Notes here

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December 20th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Former ASU guard Remy Martin returns to the CEC – with No. 7 Kansas (Tues., 7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2)

… Jabari Walker cleared to play … A sell out is expected (hopefully with not too many Kansas fans) … 

From the Daily Camera … Colorado has made life in Boulder difficult for Remy Martin before. But this time, Martin is bringing a much more intimidating group of friends to the CU Events Center.

A potential season-altering opportunity awaits the Buffaloes on Tuesday night, as Martin and his new mates with the Kansas Jayhawks visit Boulder for CU’s final nonconference game of the season.

Martin, the former star guard at Arizona State, joined Kansas following his fourth season with ASU last year. He and the seventh-ranked Jayhawks will face a Buffs squad expected to be at full strength, as on Monday head coach Tad Boyle said sophomore forward Jabari Walker, CU’s leading scorer and rebounder, is expected to be in the lineup for the renewal of a former Big 12 Conference rivalry.

Walker played less than five minutes during Saturday’s win against Cal State Bakersfield before getting inadvertently clubbed on the head by a Roadrunners player.

“I just remember getting hit, and I was dizzy for a minute,” Walker said. “The first five minutes was the worst of it, but after that it was (good) from there. The biggest thing is I had a stiff neck the next day. Once I got treatment on that, I’m just happy and blessed it wasn’t anything more serious.

“We’re excited. We didn’t get this opportunity last year with COVID. We know it’s something that you don’t get an opportunity to do every year. This is the sophomores’ first year of doing it, and we understand how big this is for the program. We just want to get this win and bring that energy to the city. I know it will be crazy all around in Boulder if we get this win.”

Continue reading story here

Boyle concerned as Pac-12 COVID cancellations add up: “We still have to be diligent”

From the Daily Camera … Fans still are in the stands. But the return to normalcy promised by the 2021-22 college basketball season quickly is spiraling off the rails.

The surge of COVID-19 issues wreaking havoc on schedules in the NBA, NHL and NFL isn’t leaving college basketball unscathed.

Prior to his team’s 60-46 win against Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday, Colorado head coach Tad Boyle reiterated the plan remains for the Buffaloes to be released for a four-day holiday break at their respective homes following Tuesday’s showdown at the CU Events Center against No. 7 Kansas (7 p.m., ESPN2).

The Buffs are sticking to that plan despite watching Pac-12 rivals Washington and UCLA suffer recent virus-related setbacks. On Friday after practice, Boyle vented some frustration regarding the lack of transparency within the Pac-12’s forfeiture and information-sharing policies. For instance, on Friday morning Boyle lamented not knowing exactly what transpired at UCLA and UW. Not because he expected either school to name those with positive tests, but because he believes knowing what exactly went awry with both teams might prevent it from occurring elsewhere.

Boyle told BuffZone he did have conversations with the league office later on Friday, saying discussions are ongoing at the administrative level reviewing COVID policies amid a sudden and dramatic wave of canceled games and programs on pause.

“We still have to be diligent. We’ve still got to be responsible. We’ve got to be smart,” Boyle said. “The good thing is, these guys have been grinding in finals, and I think the biggest risk is when these guys go home. Most of the students now are gone, so the social life on campus has really diminished significantly. Which is a good thing for our guys. Now it’s just a matter of being responsible. But when they do go home, wear your masks, social distance, and know who you’re around.”

Continue reading story here

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December 18th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs use defense to take out CSU-Bakersfield, 60-48

From CUBuffs.com …  Colorado built a 17-point second-half lead Saturday, then withstood a late CSU Bakersfield run to collect a 60-46 win at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffaloes improved to 9-3 with their third straight win while CSUB dropped to 4-4.

The Buffs led by nine at the half and extended their cushion to 17 midway through the second half. A mini-rally from the Roadrunners cut the margin to eight with five minutes to play, but the Buffs rebuilt the lead to double digits and maintained control down the stretch.

Keeshawn Barthelemy led CU with 12 points and added six rebounds. Dominque Clifford had 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists, Elijah Parquet added 10 points, and Lawson Lovering had six points and four rebounds. CU’s leading scorer, Jabari Walker, did not play in the second half because of an injury and did not score.

Kaleb Higgins led the Roadrunners with nine points. The Buffs held the Roadrunners to 15-for-55 shooting (27.3 percent) while CU shot 19-for-45.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs led by nine at the half, 24-15, and slowly pushed the margin to 17 midway through the period. A Barthelemy 3-pointer gave Colorado a 42-26 edge before a Lovering offensive rebound and bucket and two free throws from Simpson helped CU to a 48-31 edge with 10:24 remaining.

But the Roadrunners didn’t go away quietly. Thanks to some second-chance buckets and a couple of Colorado turnovers, CSUB cut the deficit to eight, 52-44, on a Justin McCall bucket with 5:13 to play.

Colorado, though, regained control and built the cushion back to double digits on buckets from Tristan da Silva and Evan Battey and CU held the Roadrunners at bay over the final minutes.

Colorado used an 8-0 run early to jump out to a 14-4 lead less than seven minutes in. Barthelemy started the surge with a drive to the hoop, Tristan da Silva added a three-point play and Elijah Parquet drained a 3-pointer to put CU in control.

But the Buffs went stale after that, scoring just 10 more points the remainder of the half. After hitting three of their first five shots, the Buffs shot just 5-for-18, including an 0-for-8 stretch.

Colorado’s defense, though, kept the Buffs comfortably in the lead, as they limited the Roadrunners to 5-for-27 shooting in the half and CU held a 24-15 edge at intermission.

NEXT UP: Colorado wraps up its non-conference schedule Tuesday when the Buffs play host to Kansas in a 7 p.m. game at the CU Events Center (ESPN2).

 

Buffs’ final tuneup before Kansas comes to town – CU v. CSU-Bakersfield 

Related … “Stopping offensive rebounds a key for CU Buffs against CSU Bakersfield” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.comCU is a 14.0-point favorite over the Roadrunners

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 8-3 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12 Conference, returning to the hardwood after an eight-day break for finals. The Buffaloes were last in action on Dec. 10, claiming a 65-54 decision over Milwaukee at the CU Events Center.

Colorado is set to play its fourth of five-straight home games to end the nonconference schedule. The Buffaloes opened the Pac-12 schedule with an 80-76 win over Stanford on Nov. 28 – the earliest conference game in the nation this season. Colorado resumes Pac-12 play at the end of the month.

Colorado has won 31 of its last 43 games dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season. With the win over Eastern Washington, the Buffaloes bounced back from just their second two-game losing streak in the last two seasons, and now has won their last two and five of seven overall.

The Buffaloes have fared well in tight contests. Eight of Colorado’s  11 games have been within six points – or two possessions – with four minutes or less remaining in the game. The Buffaloes are 7-1 in those contests.

Colorado is averaging 72.0 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 Conference, and rank in the Top 20 nationally, in free throws made and attempted. Colorado’s 179 free throws made rank 13th in NCAA Division I while its 247 attempts are 16th.

While the Buffaloes are among the top teams in the nation at getting to the line, they also have a recent trend of keeping their opponents off it. Milwaukee shot just 11 free throws on Dec. 10, making seven.  Two days earlier, Eastern Washington attempted only seven free throws. CU’s opponents are just 18 of 27 from the line the last three games.

Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 66.9 points per game while opponents have shot 42 percent. Colorado’s defense has tightened the last two games, allowing just 55.5 points. In both those games, the Buffaloes reached one of their Boyle era Ògold standardsÓ of holding opponents to 40 percent of less from the field and least a plus-8 rebound advantage. Colorado improved to 76-5 in those games after holding Milwaukee to 36.4 percent and winning the rebounding battle by nine (39-30).

ABOUT THE ROADRUNNERS: CSU Bakersfield is 4-3 overall, coming off a 69-59 setback at Abilene Christian on Dec. 15, snapping a three-game winning streak. The Roadrunners average 67.1 points per game, however that number drops by nearly 10 points against NCAA Division I competition (57.2 ppg). Defensively, Bakersfield is holding opponents to 64.1 points while allowing just 39.9 percent shooting. The Roadrunners lead the Big West Conference in offensive rebounds (12.4 orpg), turnover margin (+2.7) and turnovers forced (16.9 topg).

Bakersfield’s balanced attack features four players averaging between nine and 10 points per game. Sophomore guard Kaleb Higgins has a team-best 69 points (9.9 ppg), one point ahead of senior guards Justin McCall and Justin Edler-Davis, each with 68 (9.7 ppg).  The senior duo are not only tied in points, they share the team lead in rebounding at 4.7 per game. Sophomore guard Shaun Williams, who missed the game against Abilene Christian, averages 9.2 points with a team-best 15 assists.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be third meeting between Colorado and CSU Bakersfield with the programs hooking up for the first time in 10 years almost to the date. Colorado swept a home-and-home series in 2011. The Buffaloes took an 85-73 decision in Bakersfield on Jan. 2, 2011 and followed up the next season with a 70-64 win in Boulder on Dec. 19, 2011.

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December 10th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs overcome late deficit, pull away for a 64-53 win over Milwaukee

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado once again allowed a healthy lead to slip away in the second half Friday, but the Buffaloes again had an answer down the stretch, rallying to take a 65-54 win over Milwaukee at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 8-3 while the Panthers fell to 2-7.

Colorado led by four at the half and built its lead to nine, 39-30, early in the second half. But the Panthers rallied with an 18-7 run to take the lead before the Buffs regrouped to put together a 12-0 surge in the final minutes for the win.

Evan Battey led CU with 15 points, Jabari Walker added 14 — all in the second half, with eight in the decisive run — and Elijah Parquet scored 11.

Jordan Lathon led Milwaukee with 14 points while CU held Panthers leading scorer Patrick Baldwin Jr.  to just 12 points on 3-for-13 shooting, including 2-for-10 from 3-point range.

The game was a near mirror image of Wednesday’s 60-57 win over Eastern Washington, when CU let a 15-point lead turn into a deficit late before clawing back for the win.

“It’s the old Forrest Gump line,” Boyle said. “We’re like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. That doesn’t mean night to night. It means timeout to timeout, first half to second half … But our guys did a good job down the stretch making plays and we got the win.”

CU’s offense struggled again for much of the game, but the Buffs’ defense held Milwaukee to 36 percent shooting (20-for-55) and Colorado held a 39-30 rebound edge.

“We’re 76-5 when we hold an opponent under 40 percent and outrebound them by more than eight,” Boyle said. “Seventy-six and five  over the last 11 and a half years. That’s a pretty good record. It doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to win the game, but you put yourself in a position to win. We did that against Eastern Washington and we did it tonight.”

Continue reading story here

Buffs must stop Patrick Baldwin, Jr. in order to keep Milwaukee from pulling off an upset 

From CUBuffs.com

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 7-3 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12 Conference, coming off a 60-57 squeaker against Eastern Washington on Dec. 8th. The Buffaloes are 4-1 in games decided by five points or less (4-5 in 2020-21 in those instances). The Buffaloes snapped a two-game skid and get set to play their third of five-straight home games to end the nonconference schedule.

The Buffaloes opened the Pac-12 schedule with an 80-76 win over Stanford on Nov. 28 – the earliest conference game in the nation this season. Colorado resumes Pac-12 play at the end of the month.

Colorado will play its second game in three days, and have done well this season in that scenario. The Buffaloes are 3-0 this season on a quick turn-around; in games one or two days following the previous contest.

Colorado has won 30 of its last 42 games dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season. With the win over Eastern Washington, the Buffaloes bounced back from just their second two-game losing streak in the last two seasons.

Colorado is averaging 72.7 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 Conference, and rank in the Top 10 nationally, in free throws made and attempted. Colorado’s 165 free throws made rank eighth in NCAA Division I while its 231 attempts are seventh.

The Buffaloes were 8 of 12 from the free throw line against EWU, both season lows, but the opponent hasn’t been getting to the line either. Eastern Washington attempted only seven free throws and combined with Tennessee, CU’s opponents are just 11 of 16 from the line the last two games.

Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 68.2 points per game while opponents have shot 43 percent. Colorado held Eastern Washington to 57 points. The Eagles had averaged 81.0 points in their previous eight games. Colorado held Eastern Washington to 40 percent shooting (22-55) and had a plus-12 advantage on the boards (40-28). Colorado is 75-5 in the Tad Boyle era when holding teams to 40 percent or less from the field and at least a plus-8 rebound advantage.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS: Milwaukee is 2-6 overall, snapping a six-game skid with a 77-69 win over Robert Morris in its last outing on Dec. 4th. The Panthers are 1-1 in the Horizon League. Milwaukee is averaging 64.6 points while shooting 41 percent from the field. Defensively, the Panthers allow 71.1 points per game and hold the Horizon League’s best field goal defense at 38.7 percent. Milwaukee also leads the Horizon and ranks 30th in the nation in blocked shots at 5.5 per game.

Freshman wing Patrick Baldwin, Jr., regarded as one of the Top 5 players in the Class of 2021, leads Milwaukee at 17.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting 42 percent from the floor. Baldwin went 6 for 6 from 3-point range in the Panthers’ win over Robert Morris en route to a 26-point outing. Junior guard DeAndre Gholston is averaging 16.3 points per game, but missed the Robert Morris contest. Freshman guard Donovan Newby leads the Panthers in assists with 22 while averaging 10.4 points per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the fifth meeting between Colorado and Milwaukee with the Buffaloes winning all four previous meetings. It will be the first meeting in 20 years. The last game between the two teams was a 93-87 decision at the CU Events Center on Dec. 30, 2001. Three of the four games have been played at the CU Events Center. The Buffaloes took a 74-71 overtime win in Milwaukee on Dec. 30, 2000.

Continue reading story here

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December 8th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs do their best to lose, but find a way to defeat Eastern Washington, 60-57

Related … “CU Buffs men’s basketball escapes Eastern Washington upset bid” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado allowed a 15-point first-half lead to become a four-point deficit late in the game Wednesday, but the Buffaloes rallied in the final minutes to take a 60-57 win over Eastern Washington at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 7-3 while the Eagles fell to 4-5.

Jabari Walker led CU with 17 points and 10 rebounds, his fifth double-double in the last six games.

Steele Venters led Eastern Washington with 23 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by as much as 15 in the first half and still had an eight-point lead at intermission, 39-31.

But after shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half, the Buffs went cold in the second and also suffered a rash of turnovers.

That combination helped the Eagles slowly chip away at CU’s lead. EWU tied the game at 49-49 with 7:04 to play on a Venters 3-pointer, then finally took a 53-51 lead on a Mason Landeck layup with 5:05 to play. Landeck hit two free throws 30 seconds later after Colorado’s ninth turnover of the half to extend Colorado’s deficit to four, 55-51.

But following a timeout, Evan Battey hit a bucket inside and added a free throw to pull Colorado within one before the Buffs got a defensive stop on the other end. CU then regained the lead, 57-55, on a Walker three-point play with 2:17 to play.

Eastern Washington tired the game again on a Steel Venters bucket, but Colorado regained the lead for good on a Battey jump hook with 1:31 to play. It was Battey’s ninth point of the game, all coming in the second half.

CU got defensive stops on EWU’s next two possessions and although the Buffs missed three of four free throw attempts in the final seconds, the Buffs survived when an Eastern Washington 3-pointer at the buzzer came up just short.

Colorado stumbled at the game’s outset but quickly recovered with a 14-0 run to take a 14-6 lead less than five minutes in. Walker started the run with a three-point play, Barthelemy had seven points in the surge and Elijah Parquet added four.

The Buffs then built their margin to double digits with a 7-0 run midway through the half and built their cushion to as much as 15 when a Walker drive to the basket gave Colorado a 33-18 edge with 6:24 left in the half.

The Eagles, though, slowly chipped away and reduced the deficit to eight, 39-31, with a 3-pointer from Venters just before the half.

CU outrebounded the Eagles, 18-12, in the opening half and also forced eight turnovers, which the Buffs converted into 11 points.

NEXT UP: The Buffs return to the Events Center on Friday when they play host to Milwaukee in a 7:30 p.m. contest (Pac-12 Networks

CU a 15.0-point favorite over Eastern Washington (6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 6-3 overall and 1-1 in the ac-12 Conference, coming off a 69-54 nonconference setback to No. 13/15 Tennessee on Dec. 4. The Buffaloes have four nonconference games remaining, beginning Wednesday, before resuming Pac-12 play at the end of the month.

The Buffaloes opened the Pac-12 schedule with an 80-76 win over Stanford on Nov. 28 – the earliest conference game in the nation this season.

Colorado has won 29 of its last 41 games dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season. With the loss to Tennessee, the Buffaloes suffered back-to-back losses for just the second time during the current 29-12 run.

Colorado is averaging 74.1 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field. Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 69.4 points per game while opponents have shot 43 percent. The Buffaloes have outrebounded their opponents by an average of 6.4 per game.

ABOUT THE EAGLES: Eastern Washington is 4-4 overall and 0-1 in the Big Sky Conference. Three of the Eagles’ four wins have been on the road, including a 76-71 decision at Washington State on Nov. 27. Eastern Washington averages 81.0 points while shooting 45 percent from the field. The Eagles allow opponents 79.0 points per game on 43 percent shooting.

Steele Venters leads EWU at 19.1 points per game shooting 53 percent overall and 52 percent from 3-point range. Linton Acliese is the Eagles’ top rebounder at 7.8 per game while averaging 16.5 points per contest. Rylan Bergersen ia averaging 13.8 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 57 percent from the field.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the fourth meeting between Colorado and Eastern Washington with the Buffaloes having won all three previous meetings. The last meeting was a 76-68 Buffs’ win at the CU Events Center on Dec. 22, 2016.

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December 7th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs hope to get their defensive mojo back against Eastern Washington: “We’ve just got to do the little things more”

From the Daily Camera … Unlike a handful of shooting slumps that have struck the Colorado men’s basketball team, the slump Elijah Parquet is battling through doesn’t necessarily jump off the box score. Unless, of course, one peruses the opposing score sheet.

Colorado’s lockdown senior guard has struggled defensively right alongside his teammates over the first month of the season. While those shooting slumps have to turn around as well, head coach Tad Boyle remains far more concerned about his team’s recent defensive efforts as the Buffaloes look ahead to a Wednesday night home date against Eastern Washington (6 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

The Buffs returned to practice on Monday, and Boyle hinted for the first time so far this season he is considering revamping the rotation.

“There’s no reason to be in a defensive slump, but (Parquet) is struggling defensively,” Boyle said. “I just don’t think his mindset is where it needs to be there. I’ve got one thing the players want. And one thing only. It’s playing time. That’s how I fix it. That’s how I fix anything. I’ve got to do a better job of distributing the minutes, and I didn’t do a very good job of that (against Tennessee).”

Tennessee’s Kennedy Chandler torched the Buffs for a 13-for-20 showing with 27 points on Saturday, but he hardly is the only opposing backcourt player to fare well against CU. UCLA’s Tyger Campbell went 4-for-7 on 3-pointers with 21 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

… “I think it’s more off the ball than on the ball,” Parquet said of his defensive struggles. “Our ball-screen defense has been rough. One-on-one, guarding the ball, I think I’m doing a good job on that front. It’s just off the ball stuff. Rotations, that part of the defense. We’ve just got to do the little things more. That’s what we’ve got to focus on in practice, and in the games.”

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December 4th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena …

Turnovers doom Buffs in 69-54 loss to No. 13 Tennessee

From CUBuffs.com … Turnovers plagued Colorado early and the Buffaloes had no answer for Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler on Saturday as CU dropped a 69-54 decision to the No. 13 Vols at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 6-3 overall with their second straight loss while Tennessee improved to 6-1.

Evan Battey led CU with 12 points, Tristan da Silva added 11 and Jabari Walker had 10. Keeshawn Barthelemy had just four points on 2-for-13 shooting, but did have a team-high nine rebounds.

Chandler led the Vols with 29 points, with the majority of his buckets coming on drives to the basket.

Colorado committed 15 turnovers — 12 in the first half — leading to 21 Tennessee points. CU was also outscored 42-28 in the paint and the Buffs shot just 19-for-55 (35 percent) from the floor while Tennessee shot 47.5 percent (29-for-61).

It was the third straight game the Buffs have allowed an opponent to shoot at least 46 percent from the floor, with the Vols cashing in 17 layups in the game.

The Buffs trailed by 10 at halftime after Chandler scored the last six points of the half. CU did manage to reduce the margin to five at several junctures midway through the second half, but the Vols never let Colorado get any closer.

“This was an opportunity that if we play the way we’re capable of playing, we can win this game — but we didn’t,” Boyle said. “We were not good enough on offense or defense. We don’t have that (defensive) identity yet. We don’t have players that have a defensive mindset. We just don’t.”

NEXT UP: The Buffaloes continue their homestand Wednesday when they play host to Eastern Washington in a 6 p.m. game at the CU Events Center (Pac-12 Networks).

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December 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs Host No. 13 Tennessee (Saturday, 12:00 p.m., MT, Fox)

From CUBuffs.com

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 6-2 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12 Conference, coming off a 73-61 setback at No. 5/5 ranked UCLA on Dec. 1. The Buffaloes opened the Pac-12 schedule with an 80-76 win over Stanford on Nov. 28 – the earliest conference game in the nation this season.

Colorado has won 29 of its last 40 games dating back to the beginning of the 2020-21 season. During that span the Buffaloes have avenged every loss with a win, with one lone exception; back-to-back losses at California and at Oregon, Feb. 13 & 18.

Colorado is averaging 76.6 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field. Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 69.5 points per game while opponents have shot 42 percent. The Buffaloes have outrebounded their eight opponents by an average of 6.9 per game.  Colorado held Brown to 30.2 percent shooting (16-53) and held a plus-9 advantage on the boards (39-30). Colorado is 74-5 in the Tad Boyle era when holding teams under 40 percent from the field and at least a plus-8 rebound advantage.

ABOUT THE VOLS: Tennessee is 5-1 overall, ranked No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 15 in the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll. The Volunteers, winners of the last three, will play their first true road game of the season against Colorado. Tennessee has played a pair of neutral site games, including a convincing 89-72 win over then-No. 18 ranked North Carolina on Nov. 21, in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Conn.

Tennessee’s offense is putting up 82.0 points per game while shooting 47.3 percent from the field. The Volunteers lead the SEC and rank fourth in the nation in assists at 20.2 per game. The Tennessee defense has held its opponents to 63.3 points on 40 percent shooting. The Volunteers average 10.5 steals per game.

Santiago Vescovi leads Tennessee at 15.5 points per game and has a team-best 18 3-point field goals. Kennedy Chandler leads Tennessee in assists at 5.2 per game while averaging 15.3 points on 49 percent shooting. Olivier Nkamhoua tops the Vols in rebounding at 6.8 per game while pitching in 10.2 points per contest.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the fourth meeting between Colorado and Tennessee. The Volunteers have won all three previous meetings including a 56-47 decision in Knoxville on Dec. 8, 2020.  The Volunteers swept a home-and-home in 1980 & Ô81.

Colorado is 70-117 against current SEC schools, which looks odd, but a 55-96 all-time record vs. Missouri factors into that. Remove the Tigers, and Texas A&M (series tied 9-9), the Buffaloes are 6-12 against the rest of the SEC.

BEHIND THE SERIES: Saturday’s game is the second of a three-game series between Colorado and Tennessee that evolved from last season’s revolving door of pandemic scheduling.

Colorado and Tennessee were not scheduled to meet in 2020-21 but after both sides experienced early season cancellations due to COVID, the teams put together an agreement that started with the Buffaloes playing in Knoxville on Dec. 8, 2020. The set will conclude with a neutral site game in Nashville in 2022-23.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Colorado is 0-1 against ranked teams in 2021-22 after dropping a 73-61 decision at No. 5/5 UCLA on Dec. 1. As the Buffaloes get set to take on No. 13/15 Tennessee, it will mark the first time since Jan. 25-27, 2018, that Colorado will face ranked teams in consecutive games. The Buffaloes fell at No. 11/12 Arizona and No. 21/20 Arizona State.

Colorado was 3-3 against ranked teams in 2020-21; its most games against ranked opponents in three seasons.

Colorado’s 22 wins over ranked opponents in the Tad Boyle era is by far the best in team history. In fact Boyle coached teams, with a record of 22-37, have accounted for 33 percent of wins over ranked opponents (66) since 1949-50.

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December 2nd

… CU in the Arena … 

No rest for the weary – No. 13 Tennessee up next: “It’s what we’ve asked for, it’s what we want”

From the Daily Camera … The loss hopefully grabbed the team’s attention.

How that reckoning affects the Colorado men’s basketball team as it shifts frm one top-15 foe to another remains to be seen. But head coach Tad Boyle expects Wednesday’s loss at No. 5 UCLA will drive home the reality that the Buffs must play smarter.

After the Buffs exited Pauley Pavilion with a 73-61 loss, Boyle discussed the many small details within games that often came naturally to last year’s veteran squad, but have presented a tougher learning curve for this season’s much younger rotation. He also pointed out it’s much easier to get a team’s attention after a loss than after a win.

There’s evidence to support that thought, as recently the Buffs have responded well to defeat. Last year CU lost consecutive games only once (both on the road), and the Buffs bounced back from their first loss this season against Southern Illinois in the opening game of the Paradise Jam to close the tournament with two consecutive wins.

Keeping that trend intact will be much more difficult this week, as CU follows its visit to the fifth-ranked team in the nation by hosting No. 13 Tennessee on Saturday (noon, FS1).

… “(Tennessee) will be a good challenge,” sophomore forward Jabari Walker said. “It’s what we’ve asked for, it’s what we want. When we (get home) we’ll have to recover, get some rest, watch some film, be ready and learn from there.

“We’ve just got to box out more in rotations. It’s not necessarily about boxing out our man, but if we’re in help and figuring out the rotations. We’ll see it on film, but we’ve just got to find a man and box out.”

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Buffs fall on the road to No. 5 UCLA, 73-61 – Boyle: “It’s time to learn from a loss”

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado endured a poor shooting night from the floor early and foul trouble all evening Wednesday as the Buffaloes dropped a 73-61 decision to No. 5 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 6-2 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 play while UCLA improved to 7-1, 1-0.

Colorado’s Jabari Walker notched his fourth consecutive double-double and fifth of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Elijah Parquet added 11 points for the Buffs.

CU’s leading scorer for the season, Evan Battey, played just 15 minutes because of foul trouble and finished with four points and two rebounds.

Tyger Campbell led UCLA with 21 points.

Colorado never led in the game as UCLA held a 39-23 edge at intermission. The Buffs did manage to narrow the gap to four midway through the second half, 48-44, but that was as close as they could come. UCLA soon rebuilt the lead to 10 and the Buffs never cut the margin to single digits again down the stretch.

CU shot 42.6 percent for the game (23-for-54), but just 24 percent from 3-point range (5-for-21). The Bruins shot 47 percent (27-for-58), including 7-for-16 from beyond the arc.

After committing eight turnovers in the first half, the Buffs finished with 12, but the Bruins outscored Colorado 23-9 in points off turnovers. The Bruins also outrebounded Colorado 36-29.

“Opportunity missed,” Boyle said. “I knew our guys had fight in them. I told them that at halftime. I don’t question their heart and ability to come back, and we did in the second half … But (the Bruins) were the better team. They were the more physical team. That’s two games in a row we’ve been outrebounded and that can’t happen.”

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December 1st – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena …

Colorado at No. 5 UCLA, 7:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks 

From CUBuffs.com

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 6-1 overall coming off a 80-76 win over Stanford on Nov. 28 to open the Pac-12 Conference schedule. The Buffaloes have won their last three since their opening round loss to Southern Illinois in the Paradise Jam. Colorado ended up placing fourth in that event (2-1) last week.

Colorado is averaging 78.9 points per game while shooting 48 percent from the field. Defensively, the Buffaloes have allowed 69.0 points per game while opponents have shot 42 percent. The Buffaloes have outrebounded their seven opponents by an average of 8.9 per game. Colorado held Brown to 30.2 percent shooting (16-53) and held a plus-9 advantage on the boards (39-30). Colorado is 74-5 in the Tad Boyle era when holding teams under 40 percent from the field and at least a plus-8 rebound advantage.

ABOUT THE BRUINS: UCLA is 6-1 overall and ranked No. 5 in the latest Associated Press and Ferris Mowers Coaches Polls. Wednesday’s game will serve as the Pac-12 opener for the Bruins. UCLA averages 84.3 points while shooting 47 percent from the field. The Bruins lead the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting at 38.7 percent. Defensively, UCLA has held opponents to 67.6 points on 43 percent shooting.

Johnny Juzang leads UCLA at 17.4 points per game along with a team-best 15 3-point field goals. Jaime Jaquez, Jr., leads the Bruins in rebounding at 6.7 per contest while averaging 15.6 points. Jules Bernard averages 14.6 points per game. Tyger Campbell leads the Bruins in assists with 25 and averages 11.4 points an outing.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 22nd meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding a 14-7 advantage. Colorado snapped a three-game skid in the series with a 70-61 win in Boulder in the last meeting on Feb. 27, 2021. UCLA holds a 10-2 advantage in Los Angeles, although Colorado’s two wins have come since 2018.

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November 29th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs take to the road to face No. 5 UCLA (Wed., 7:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks) 

From CUBuffs.com …. Before the season ever started, Colorado coach Tad Boyle looked at the schedule and knew this week would be a big one for the Buffaloes.

Three games in seven days, with two Pac-12 contests and two games against top 25 foes in the mix.

Sunday evening, the Buffs took care of the first part of the stretch, holding off Stanford for an 80-76 win at home to improve to 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the Pac-12.

But the task becomes much more difficult beginning Wednesday, when the Buffs travel to Los Angeles for a 7:30 p.m. (MT) meeting with No. 5 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion (Pac-12 Networks). Then comes a noon matchup Saturday at home against No. 13 Tennessee.

“That’s why (Sunday’s) game was so important,” Boyle said. “I know what’s on the horizon. All you can ask for in life is an opportunity.”

Wednesday’s game against the Bruins is no doubt a big opportunity for Boyle’s young Buffs. Coming off a season that saw UCLA make a surprising run to the Final Four, Mick Cronin’s team was ranked No. 2 in the nation early until absorbing an 83-63 loss to Gonzaga last week. But UCLA also owns a win over Villanova already this season, and with a group that returns nearly every key player from a year ago — as well as some important additions — it’s no wonder the Bruins were a near-unanimous pick to win the conference title this season.

“We’ve got to put our hard hats on,” Boyle said. “UCLA, they don’t beat themselves. You’re going to have to make plays, play with mental toughness. They’re not going to give you anything, you have to earn everything.”

The Buffs have had decent success against UCLA in recent seasons. Colorado split with the Bruins last year, losing early in the conference season by three points at Pauley Pavilion before collecting a nine-point victory at home late in the year.

The loss to CU was one of four straight for UCLA down the stretch — three to end the regular season and one in the Pac-12 opener.

But the Bruins snuck into the NCAA Tournament with a berth in the first four, then reeled off five straight wins before losing to Gonzaga in the national semifinals.

Now, the players who led that run last season — including Johnny Juzang, Jamie Jaquez, Jules Bernard and Tyger Campbell — are all back and are all averaging double-figure scoring.

“They’re experienced and they’re confident,” Boyle said. “You have to make plays and you have to beat UCLA because they’re not going to beat themselves.”

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K.J. Simpson named Pac-12 Freshman-of-the-Week

From the Daily Camera … KJ Simpson is working hard to keep his focus. Especially as he gains traction as a sparkplug off the bench for the Colorado men’s basketball team.

Yet that first trip home to play at the Division I level in front of your family and all your old friends is a big moment for any young player. And when Simpson hits the Pauley Pavilion floor at UCLA on Wednesday with a few dozen of his backers in the seats, he will do so with his first collegiate honor in his back pocket.

On Monday, Simpson was named the Pac-12 Conference freshman of the week, in large part due to his 12-point effort off the bench during Sunday’s league-opening win against Stanford. Simpson will have plenty of familiar faces ready to congratulate him on the honor when the Buffs visit UCLA, which dropped from No. 2 to No. 5 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, on Wednesday night (7:30 pm MT, Pac-12 Networks).

“I had to get the tickets arranged for my family and a bunch of other people that want to come down,” said Simpson, whose hometown of West Hills is about a half-hour northwest of UCLA. “And I know more family members, they bought their own tickets. So I know I’m going to have a huge support cast.

“It’s always fun going back home. But it’s not really nerves, it’s more like excitement. We have a tough opponent, and I feel like it’s going to be a hard-fought battle.”

Simpson becomes the second Buffs player to win the league’s freshman of the week honor since it was instituted two years ago. Current sophomore forward Jabari Walker collected the honor in January.

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