For the University of Colorado men's basketball team, reinforcements are on the way.
And they might be lending a hand on the floor much sooner than one might usually expect.
On Wednesday, CU announced the signing of two guards to national letters of intent, welcoming Deleon Brown and Bryce Peters to the program. Described as versatile players who will be able to help shore up the Buffs' perimeter defense while also providing scoring punch, head coach Tad Boyle said the duo could contribute the moment they arrive in Boulder.
"They both have the opportunity and the ability to step in and help right away," Boyle said. "You never know how freshmen are going to adjust to Division I basketball. That has yet to be seen. But as I look at our program next year and certainly down the road, these guys I think are multiple-year starters. I really do.
"Next year's team, we'll figure it out next year. But these two guys will be major contributors."
Peters, a 6-foot-4 guard out of LaPuente, Calif., is listed as the No. 17-ranked recruit in California by ESPN100. Brown, a left-hander also listed at 6-4, is a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., who averaged 18.8 points a game during his senior season at Grand Rapids Christian High School last winter.
Brown is spending this season at the Brewster (N.H.) Academy prep school, a national power that routinely churns out Division I recruits.
"They're both terrific kids from terrific families. They have great character," Boyle said. "Deleon Brown is a left-handed combo guard. Extremely fast and athletic. He'll come in battle-tested a little bit. Bryce Peters...we're excited about him because he can really score in a lot of different ways. He can shoot the three. He can attack the rim. He's got a good pull-up. He exerts his will on the game. And I think both of these guys will be really high-level defenders for us on the perimeter."
Boyle also expressed optimism that Brown will arrive at CU ready to get to work, given this winter's prep season will allow the lefty to adjust to life away from home. It is a route traveled by current CU sophomore Tory Miller, who prepped in the same league at New Hampton.
"Certainly academically they're better prepared," Boyle said. "Socially they're better prepared. They've been away from home. Being away at school and trying to figure out where the bookstore is, or how to find their new classroom, they've done that already. They've been through the away-from-home syndrome that all these kids go through."
Currently, CU still has one scholarship available for a later signing or possible incoming transfer. That total does not reflect the active scholarship of injured senior forward Xavier Johnson, who might ultimately take a medical redshirt for the 2015-16 season.
The Buffs begin their 2015-16 season Friday against No. 7 Iowa State at Sioux Falls, S.D.
CU women add guard
The CU women's team also announced a signee Wednesday, inking 5-foot-8 guard Bria Rice out of Federal Way, Wash. Rice led Todd Beamer High School to a third-place finish in the Washington Class 4A state tournament last year while averaging 10.5 points, five rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 3.5 steals per game.
"Bria is a high-energy player who will increase our overall speed and athleticism especially on the defensive end of the floor," CU coach Linda Lappe said in a news release. "She will give us depth in the guard position and we look for her to compete as a freshman.