A couple of weeks after a promising season ended as disappointingly as it did abruptly, coach Tad Boyle remains optimistic about where the Buffs basketball show can go from here.
CU was 21-11 and blocked to do the NCAA Tournament, which would have been the fifth dance on the program in 10 years under Boyle. That was despite ending the season in a five-game skid, culminating in the first-round loss of the Pac-12 tournament prior to that, and March Madness being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I want our players to understand that they did some really good things this year, although the season certainly didn't end as we wanted," Boyle said. "If you look at the history of Colorado basketball, (21 wins) is pretty good. That tied the school record for regular season victories and we finished 25th in the NET ranking.
"So there is a lot to be proud of, and the program is in great shape for the future." I feel good about Colorado basketball and where it is today. ”
Even with that optimism, Boyle knows there is immediate recruiting work to be done and important decisions ahead for two of CU's stars.
For the first issue, the Buffs have signed two recruits into their 2020 class, Dominique Clifford of The Vanguard School (the State Gatorade Player of the Year) and Luke O’Brien of Columbine (CHSAA Class 5A Player of the Year). But the Buffs are now looking to add a couple more players to the class after first-year forward Jakub Bombek and second-year guard Daylen Kountz announced their intention to enter the transfer portal.
For the second matter, McKinley Wright IV announced Thursday via Twitter that he was Enter the NBA 2020 draft process while maintaining his eligibility, and Tyler Bey is "testing the waters," according to Boyle.
"The aspect of testing the waters now, compared to what has been the last year or two, is completely different (due to the coronavirus crisis)," Boyle said. "There are so many unknowns, and now there are more questions than answers for guys like McKinley and Tyler."
Amid all the uncertainty, the potential transition from the Buffs roster is sure to involve freshman Keeshawn Barthelemy, a four-star recruit from Toronto.
"We had Keeshawn Barthelemy redshirting this year as a guard, as a kind of insurance if McKinley leaves, but also as a guy who can play with McKinley in the backcourt if he comes back," Boyle said. "That plan is still in place, and now we can probably bring one player from the front court for Tyler's insurance, if he leaves, and another player from the back court for more depth now that Daylen is gone and Shane Gatling is gone. graduated. "
If both Wright and Bey decide to return, there is still a chance that Wright's name may not appear in most simulated drafts, and Bey screened somewhere from the end of the first round to the draft, Boyle believes CU can build Easily from 2019-20, what the Buffs saw rank to number 16 in the AP poll.
"If they both come back, I think we are a legitimate top 25 team that will come in next year," Boyle said.