CU Buffs’ Tad Boyle keeps options open with final scholarship

Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle said he’s likely to save the scholarship the Buffaloes have available to use for the 2017 recruiting class.

For the time being, Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle is content to continue playing with an extra ace up his sleeve.

Over the weekend, former Drake player Dominik Olejniczak announced his commitment to Ole Miss. The 7-footer had been targeted by Boyle and his staff as a priority among the roughly 300 Division I transfers who became available following the 2015-16 season.

While Boyle fell short of ruling out making late additions to the Buffs’ roster in what has become an increasingly fluid transfer landscape, CU’s staff will likely keep the scholarship in hand for the 2017 class.

“We’re always in the market. Especially with transfers now, you never know what’s going to become available,” Boyle said. “If someone becomes available that we like, we’ll follow through. If not, we’ll bank it until next year. We’re not going to give it just to give it. Next year’s roster is pretty much set. This was not about next year’s team.”

CU’s 2016 freshman class already is set to include versatile guards Bryce Peters and Deleon Brown, both of whom signed last fall. CU received a verbal commitment during the season from Arvada West 7-footer Dallas Walton, who signed last month.

However, following the season both Tre’Shaun Fletcher and Kenan Guzonjic announced they were transferring out of CU’s program, freeing up two additional scholarships. Boyle parlayed one of those openings by signing Lucas Siewert, a 6-foot-10 forward out of Los Angeles whose addition could allow Walton to take a redshirt season following two major knee surgeries in two years.

Boyle had hoped to land a transfer with the other available scholarship, bringing both Jimmy Whitt and Olejniczak to Boulder for visits. Whitt, formerly of Arkansas, ultimately chose SMU. Olejniczak, who averaged 6.5 points and 4.1 rebounds as a freshman for Drake last season, also spurned CU’s Pac-12 rivals from Cal. Both of those players will have to sit out the 2016-17 season, per NCAA transfer rules.

The still-available scholarship will likely be added to a sizable recruiting class next year to replace CU’s 2016-17 seniors — Xavier Johnson, Wesley Gordon, Derrick White and Josh Fortune.

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