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Colorado, Washington surge toward Pac-12 opener

colorado,-washington-surge-toward-pac-12-opener

Colorado coach Tad Boyle stresses the importance of getting better throughout the season.

With the Buffaloes off to a 9-2 start entering Pac-12 play Friday when they host Washington, they might be ahead of schedule.

“I just want to keep getting better,” Boyle said. “That’s the one thing I’ve really taken pride in. Most of our teams have gotten better, month to month, from November to December, December to January, January to February. We need to be one of those teams, and if we are, we’ll have a really good year because we’re doing a lot of good things.”

Colorado lost to Florida State 77-71 in overtime in the championship of the Sunshine Slam and at then-No. 20 Colorado State 88-83. The Buffaloes defeated then-No. 15 Miami 90-63 at the NABC Brooklyn Showcase.

KJ Simpson leads Colorado with 19.9 points and 4.5 assists per game. Tristan da Silva adds 15.7 points and 5.4 rebounds, and Cody Williams (14) and J’Vonne Hadley (10) are also scoring in double digits.

“I love our offense,” Buffaloes guard Luke O’Brien said. “Everyone shares the rock.”

The Huskies (8-3) also had impressive nonconference results, including a 78-73 home victory against then-No. 7 Gonzaga.

Washington’s losses came against Nevada (83-76), San Diego State (100-97 in OT) and Colorado State (86-81).

“We know what we have going into Pac-12 play,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “We found a way to win.”

The Huskies’ Keion Brooks Jr. (20.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg) is one of two Pac-12 players to rank in the league’s top five in points and rebounds. Sahvir Wheeler, like Brooks a transfer from Kentucky, averages 15.6 points and 7.1 assists.

Washington leads the all-time series against Colorado 21-15 and swept the regular-season series last year before falling to the Buffaloes in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament.

–Field Level Media

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