University of Colorado men's basketball coach Tad Boyle kept reiterating over the past few months the one remaining scholarship at his disposal for the 2016 recruiting class would be used, if at all, with an eye on the 2017-18 season.
Ultimately Boyle was able to do just that, announcing on Sunday that Missouri transfer Namon Wright has decided to continue his career in Boulder. Wright will be ineligible for the 2016-17 season per NCAA transfer rules but will have two seasons remaining beginning in 2017-18.
"This helps balances our classes," said Boyle. "It's a good fit on a number of levels."
A 6-foot-5 guard out of Los Angeles, Wright enjoyed an impressive freshman season at Missouri in 2014-15, averaging 6.8 points with a .414 shooting percentage. Wright was the Tigers' third-leading scorer this past season at 9.6 points per game, but his field goal and 3-point percentages dropped appreciably from his rookie year.
Wright did increase his rebounding average from 2.3 as a freshman to 5.2 last year and also more than doubled his assist total. He was one of three Missouri players who decided to transfer out of the program since February.
"He's a ready-made player," said Boyle, who hosted Wright on campus a month ago. "He had a really good freshman year and had some big games. He probably didn't play as well as a sophomore but I think he'd be the first guy to admit that."
While Wright can only practice with the team in 2016-17, his addition to the rotation the following year will help offset the pending void from next year's graduating class, which features a handful of good-sized perimeter players in Xavier Johnson, Derrick White, and Josh Fortune. CU also loses forward Wesley Gordon from the 2017 graduating class, meaning Boyle still has four scholarships to apply toward the next recruiting class.
Wright will join the rotation alongside fellow 6-5 guards Bryce Peters and Deleon Brown, who will be freshmen this upcoming season. Wright also slides into the graduating class of Thomas Akyazili, who is the only remaining scholarship player from last year's recruiting class.
"It's a perfect fit for him and for us," Boyle said. "We weren't going to add a graduate transfer and at this point we weren't going to use it on a high schooler. It was really only (Wright). If we didn't get him we would've used (the scholarship) for next year."