Eli Parquet
Eli Parquet

First, some introductions for Colorado basketball fans.

Guard Elijah Parquet, one of the Buffaloes' newcomers out of Beaumont, Texas, prefers to go by Eli, and he already is confident he can provide the Buffs with a steady 3-point shot.

Secondly, a word of caution. Parquet suffered a broken foot late in the high school season and has spent the past few months largely on the sidelines. Those baby steps typically taken by freshmen during their first weeks on campus will be even smaller this month for Parquet.

Last week, Parquet and Denver East's Daylen Kountz arrived on campus to begin summer classes and go through their first workouts with their new CU teammates. Junior college transfer Shane Gatling arrived earlier this week, while forward Jakub Dombek is not expected to arrive until at least later in the month.

Parquet's injury did not require surgery, but he will spend the summer getting acclimated to the speed of the college game at a more deliberate pace.

"The first thing is to get healthy. He's got a nagging foot injury," head coach Tad Boyle said. "So I really don't know what the kid can do or can't do right now. We haven't seen enough to know. Right now, freshmen are drinking water through a fire hose. They're just trying to figure out terminology and what's expected of them and getting through these workouts.

"Very talented. Both he and Daylen are talented, talented guys. But it's going to be a work in progress. I'll have a lot better feel on (Parquet) at the end of June than I do now."


As he grows accustomed to the routine of classes and workouts while getting his foot back up to speed, Parquet eventually plans to compete for a rotation spot along the perimeter. Three players who logged time in that rotation — graduated seniors Dom Collier and George King, along with freshman Lazar Nikolic — no longer are part of the equation, with Parquet a potential answer to some of the 3-point void left behind by King and Collier.

Namon Wright, the team's lone senior, certainly will be in that wing mix alongside point guard McKinley Wright. It's probable Gatling will as well after knocking down a school-record 102 3-pointers last season at Indian Hills Community College. The 6-foot-3 Parquet will likely battle with Kountz, Deleon Brown, and D'Shawn Schwartz for minutes along the perimeter, with defense and 3-point proficiency likely to play big factors in the competition.

Brown, a junior next season, enjoyed a fast start to the 2017-18 season but saw his effectiveness, and then his minutes, fade down the stretch. Schwartz turned in several promising performances as a true freshman last season, but at 6-foot-7 the Buffs will seek more consistency on defense and on the glass (1.8 rpg) from Schwartz next year.

"Mainly (Boyle) says for freshmen to just learn, and try to learn quickly and adjust to the offense we're running," Parquet said. "I'm a good shooter, and George was a good shooter, so I feel like I fit in really well in the offense."

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07