With the quest to fill the open roster spot now in full swing for University of Colorado men's basketball coach Tad Boyle, the Buffaloes' leader maintains that all options are on the table.
That includes possibly welcoming a graduate transfer to Boulder for one season of immediate service. That, however, probably is the least likely of the scenarios about to unfold for the Buffaloes' program.
The 2017-18 season began with an open scholarship in Boyle's back pocket for the 2018 freshman recruiting class, yet that spot was tentatively if not officially filled when senior forward Tory Miller-Stewart suffered a season-ending injury after just six games.
Once Miller-Stewart announced last week he will play his fifth and final collegiate season elsewhere as a graduate transfer, that open scholarship became fully open once again. A big man remains the target for Boyle's Buffs, but while adding his own graduate transfer to the mix for the 2018-19 season isn't out of the question, the odds are the roster spot will be filled via a different source.
"All options are open with that scholarship," Boyle said. "You look at advantages and disadvantages of different schools, and the graduate programs we have at Colorado are not easy to get in to. You can't take a typical kid who's an average or below average student and say hey, we're going to take him for a year and get him in a graduate program. It just doesn't work here.
"When I talk about the mission of this university and the values of this university and what this university stands for, that's not it. If he's a legitimate student who really wants to get a graduate degree and wants to play basketball, absolutely we're going to look at him. But a lot of these graduate transfers really have no interest in graduate school, and you're renting a player for six months in the guise of getting a graduate degree. That's not what we're about."
Through his eight years at the helm Boyle has not brought in a single graduate transfer — a status that comes with immediate eligibility for one season, which Miller-Stewart will enjoy somewhere. He has welcomed two very productive senior transfers who had to sit one season before playing their final collegiate seasons in Carlon Brown and Derrick White, in addition to transfers who still had multiple years of eligibility remaining, like former CU guard Josh Fortune and current guard Namon Wright.
The open roster spot also could be filled by a foreign player or a high school athlete whose recruiting gets re-opened by coaching staff changes around college basketball, a scenario that helped bring starting point guard McKinley Wright to Boulder a year ago. Wright had signed with Dayton but re-opened his recruiting when former Flyers coach Archie Miller took the head coach job at Indiana.
"Regular transfers, sit one and play one, we'll look at that," Boyle said. "We're looking at bigs. We're looking at everything."