Former Arizona signatory KJ Simpson says Colorado is “perfect” for him | Arizona Wildcats Basketball
It helped CU that Simpson trained regularly with Buff Big Man Evan Battey during the COVID-19 restricted summer of 2020. Simpson also befriended Jabari Walker in his sophomore year when the two played club ball together.
“Me and Jabari are very, very close, so he said, ‘When are you going to decide to come here?'” Simpson said. “He was kidding, but he actually puffed me up a bit.”
It turned out that Boyle and the Buffs may need Simpson even more than they did in 2020. Star Point Guard McKinley Wright jumped into professional basketball last spring and eventually signed a two-way deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves while in Western Carolina -Transfer Mason Faulkner took off unexpectedly in August.
That left CU with Keeshawn Barthelemy, Simpson, and freshman Julian Hammond, a Denver high school football and basketball star, to jointly replace Wright’s contributions.
“McKinley, what he did here was legendary,” said Simpson. “Those are big footsteps, but I felt like I could almost take on that role.”
Barthelemy averages 28.7 minutes per game in the starting XI, while Simpson has an average of 19.0 minutes off the bench. Hammond stepped in hard on Sunday when Simpson suspended Colorado’s 78-64 win over Washington on concussion protocol.