The intriguing and potentially dynamic 2017 recruiting class for the Colorado men's basketball team has yet to play its first regular-season game, and already the young Buffaloes have some backup on the way.
On Wednesday two guards who already verbally committed to CU made their college of choice official, as Denver East guard Daylen Kountz and Texas native Elijah Parquet signed letters of intent to join the Buffs next year.
Kountz's addition continues head coach Tad Boyle's practice of landing the top player out of Colorado whenever possible. During his tenure Coloradoans Josh Scott, Wesley Gordon, Xavier Talton, and 2017 NBA first-round pick Derrick White all have committed to Boyle's program, in addition to current native Colorado players Dom Collier (also from Denver East), D'Shawn Schwartz, and Dallas Walton.
Kountz and Parquet are rated as three-star recruits from Rivals.com.
"They'll bring added depth, athleticism, versatility both offensively and defensively," Boyle said. "They both have good size, good length, are multi-dimensional. Daylen is a really fast, quick, first-step attacking type guard. Elijah shoots it extremely well. Both very good players. Both very versatile. Offensively they can play multiple positions and defensively they can get out and guard and can help us on the perimeter on that side of the ball."
Kountz averaged 26.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists over the final half of last season for Denver East, sitting out the first 13 games after transferring from George Washington. The 6-foot-3 Kountz shot .510 overall with a .310 mark on 3-pointers.
Parquet, a 6-foot-3 guard from Beaumont, Texas, was considered somewhat of a late bloomer on the recruiting circuit but picked up expanded interest this past summer while competing for his club, Team STAGE.
The new guards will take the roster spots of senior guards Collier and George King. Boyle still has one scholarship at his disposal for the 2018-19 season, but the current makeup of the Buffs' roster might allow Boyle the luxury of not being picky and the flexibility to perhaps wield patience. Six freshmen will be active for Friday night's opener against Northern Colorado, with five of them — Schwartz, Tyler Bey, McKinley Wright, Lazar Nikolic, and redshirt freshman Walton — expected to play roles in the rotation.
In addition to Kountz and Parquet, the Buffs also will add 2017 recruit Evan Battey to the mix next year after the 6-foot-8 forward was ruled academically ineligible this season by the NCAA.
Boyle expects to hold that open scholarship until the spring, when he could use it on a player whose recruitment is opened up again following some inevitable coaching change (as was the case last spring with Wright) or on the ever-expanding transfer market.
"Obviously we're going to look for a big, but with Evan Battey's situation he'll go into this class, so we really already have a big," Boyle said. "Now we can take our time, see what the transfer market is like after the season, see who may pop up on the radar. There's always overseas kids that we're tracking and watching and seeing how they develop and what interest they have in coming to the United States to go to school. There are a lot of different directions we can go with that last one and maintain our flexibility."