The status of Lazar Nikolic remains in limbo for the Colorado men's basketball team.

With the Buffaloes set to travel to Italy on Monday for a four-game exhibition swing, it is becoming more likely the newest member of the new-look Buffs will meet the team in Europe.

Head coach Tad Boyle had planned on having Nikolic in Boulder for his team's pre-Italy workouts, which conclude on Sunday, but the arrival of the guard from Serbia has been delayed by NCAA clearinghouse paperwork.

"The hope is probably now, at this late stage of the game, that he meets us in Rome or somewhere on the trip. He joins the team, comes back with us, and starts school on the 27th," Boyle said. "The NCAA, we're at their mercy."

Nikolic's club team is based in Rome, so the idea he could meet his new teammates somewhere on the road is far from complicated. However, missing the entirety of the team's 10 practices prior to the Italy excursion will put Nikolic squarely behind his fellow freshmen — McKinley Wright, Tyler Bey, D'Shawn Schwartz, and Evan Battey — in terms of adjusting to Division I competition.

"I can't imagine how Lazar is going to have to jump into all this stuff," Schwartz said. "I wish he was out here to practice with us."

Pat Rooney: or