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CU Buffs guard KJ Simpson named Pac-12 Player of the Week

Feb. 26—Head coach Tad Boyle once again expressed a measure of frustration at that lack of national recognition for Colorado guard KJ Simpson.

Yet Simpson's name, and feats, continue to resonate loud and clear within the Pac-12, however.

On Monday, Simpson was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after scoring 28 points to lead CU's home rout of Utah on Saturday. It is Simpson's first weekly honor this season and the third player of the week award of his career after winning it twice a year ago.

It is Simpson's fifth weekly Pac-12 honor overall, including a pair of Freshman of the Week honors two years ago. It is CU's third weekly honor of the season, as Tristan da Silva was named the Player of the Week on Dec. 11 while Cody Williams collected the Freshman of the Week award on Jan. 22.

Simpson went 10-for-15 overall and 5-for-8 on 3-pointers in the win against Utah, posting his 16th 20-point game of the season. That's the most by any CU player since Alec Burks recorded 24 20-point games in 2010-11. He went 3-for-3 on free throws, increasing his team-record-pace free throw percentage to .884, while collecting four rebounds and three assists with only one turnover in 35-plus minutes.

After going just 1-for-7 with a season-low four points in a loss at UCLA on Feb. 15, Simpson has averaged 29 points in the past two games, both CU victories, while going 19-for-32 overall (.594) and 11-for-16 on 3-pointers (.688). Simpson is the only Pac-12 player to record three 30-point games this season, and he begins the week ranked third in Pac-12 games in scoring (19.3) while also ranking third in assists per game (4.6), fourth in 3-point percentage (.438) and 10th in rebounds per game (6.3).

"He's so tough-minded. He never has a bad day or a bad game in terms of his motor and his energy and his enthusiasm," Boyle said. "The key for any point guard, and we've had some good ones here when you think about Spencer (Dinwiddie) and Derrick (White) and McKinley (Wright), is finding that balance. We want them to be scorers, we need them to score for us ... but they got to think about outside of themselves. And that's what KJ has started to do this year.

"I can't say enough about KJ Simpson. He's playing like an All-American. Bottom line. It's no national love at all, which really pisses me off."