With the 2018-19 season about to tip off Tuesday night against Drake, the status of CU basketball freshman Jakub Dombek remains uncertain.
On Monday, Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle said he and his staff still are mulling a potential redshirt season for Dombek, a 6-foot-11 forward from the Czech Republic. The preseason loss of 7-foot center Dallas Walton to a season-ending knee injury whittled the Buffs' frontcourt depth, and despite Dombek's need to get stronger for the Division I stage — he is listed at just 190 pounds — he also brings a skill-set to the floor quite unlike any of his Buffs teammates.
"We had discussions with him, and we're going to discuss it again in the next 36 hours," Boyle said Monday morning. "We understand, and he understands, the benefits of it. But I also understand that he is a guy with a high, high upside. What gives me a little bit of pause is that we had practice on Saturday, and he made some incredible plays.
"Is he ready possession-by-possession to help us win a game? I don't know. But man, he can make some plays that other guys on our team can't make."
Myriad factors will go into final decision. If Dombek hits the ceiling Boyle believes he is capable of, Dombek may be in position to go pro early anyway, making a year on the bench seem wasteful. Yet if Dombek remains a Buff for the duration of his eligibility, burning a year to contribute minor minutes might also eventually seem wasteful.
Boyle also clarified that, unlike other redshirt seasons players have taken during his CU tenure, if Dombek starts the season redshirting, an injury or his own continued development might change that status as the year unfolds.
"If we decide to redshirt him, it is a fluid redshirt," Boyle said. "We're one twisted ankle away from him coming off that bench."