KJ Simpson scores 23 points as No. 25 Colorado cruises to 106-79 win over Milwaukee
Updated: Nov 15, 2023, 12:31 am
BOULDER, Colo. — — Make room, Deion Sanders, you’re in good company.
No matter if it’s the football field or the basketball court, the Colorado Buffaloes are making noise. Sanders catapulted the Buffaloes into the national spotlight with a fast start in football. Men’s and women’s basketball coaches Tad Boyle and JR Payne are shining, too.
“It’s just a great time to be a Buff,” said Boyle, whose team is ranked 25th, while Payne has the women’s squad at No. 5. “There are some high-level athletes on our campus and we’ve got some of them.”
Those include KJ Simpson, who scored 23 points, and Eddie Lampkin Jr., who added 14 points and 12 rebounds, as Colorado rode a torrid long-range shooting performance to a 106-79 rout of Milwaukee on Tuesday night in the opening-round campus game of the Sunshine Slam Tournament.
The Buffaloes (3-0) were 13 of 20 from behind the 3-point line and led by as many as 38 points. The 106 points were the most the team has scored in regulation since 2006.
“I think that’s one of our strengths — anybody could get going on any given night,” Simpson said.
Tristan da Silva and freshman Cody Williams each added 17 points for a Colorado team that returned to the AP Top 25 this week for the first time since 2021. The Buffs have their men’s and women’s teams ranked in the AP polls simultaneously for the first time since Jan. 13, 2014.
“It’s great to see our name up there,” Simpson said. “Now that we have that label by our name, that ranking, other teams are going to be coming in with more intensity and putting pressure on us trying to get us to backfire and do things that we’re not used to doing.”
The Buffaloes showed stellar ball movement with 25 assists. They’ve had at least 20 in all three games this season.
“They’re as good of passing team as I’ve seen in a long, long time,” Milwaukee coach Bart Lundy said. “They’ve got so many guys that can make shots. They understand who they are.”
Even in blowouts, though, there are teachable moments. Boyle was none too pleased with his players’ rebounding effort after they failed to block out on a free throw attempt late in the game that led to a 3-pointer. His shouts could be heard around the arena.
“What I’ve got to do with these guys is make them understand that we can maybe get away with some things early in the season with our schedule that we’re not going to be able to get away with as we move forward,” Boyle said.
Lundy called an early timeout to settle his team after a rocky start. When that didn’t work, he pulled his starters 3:39 into the game following a dunk by Williams.
“Got off to a really bad start,” Lundy said, “and just lost our confidence.”
The Buffaloes and Panthers will both travel to Dayton Beach, Florida, for more Sunshine Slam action next week. The Buffaloes face Richmond on Monday, with either Florida State or UNLV to follow. The Panthers play Stetson on Monday, and then either Siena or Central Michigan.
Milwaukee: The Panthers dropped to 0-12 against ranked opponents since beating No. 21 Butler on February 18, 2009, according to the team.
Colorado: The Buffaloes are now 92-8 in nonconference home games under Boyle.
Milwaukee: Hosts Luther College on Friday.
Colorado: Faces Richmond in Florida on Monday.
Get poll alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball