All options available as Tad Boyle seeks to fill 2019-20 open scholarship for CU basketball

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
CU head backetball coach Tad Boyle, left, isn’t concerned that the lone open scholarship on the books for the 2019-20 season will remain until once the November signing date arrives. He says it gives him a better chance to evaluate players.

There is a reasonable chance the lone open scholarship on the books for the 2019-20 season will remain open until the November signing date arrives.

And that scenario is just fine with Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle.

With only one senior on the 2018-19 roster, Namon Wright, and an intriguing wealth of young big men already in the mix, Boyle’s focus this summer on the recruiting trail has been to land another guard for the 2019-20 season. Even though one target of those efforts committed elsewhere earlier this week, Boyle is perfectly content keeping that scholarship on hold for the ever-growing spring recruiting market if necessary.

“The biggest thing is you don’t want to panic. You want to stay patient and it really gives you a great chance to evaluate,” Boyle said. “When you have three or four scholarships to fill, there’s a little more urgency to get guys done. When you have one, you can be patient. If we don’t fill it early, it’s not the end of the world.

“If we sign one in November, it’s going to be a guy we want, not a guy we settle on.”

Earlier this week, Ethan Anderson, a guard out of Los Angeles who was offered a scholarship by CU during his visit in February, opted to give his verbal commitment to UNLV. Yet given the proliferation of the spring recruiting season, Boyle might be able to keep more options on the table if no recruiting commit is in the fold by November. It is a similar situation as 2014-15, when the Buffs went into the season with just one scholarship senior, Askia Booker, and no commitments from the high school ranks. That roster spot later was turned over to Division II transfer and eventual NBA first-round draft pick Derrick White.

In fact, among the 13 scholarship players set to take the floor for CU in 2018-19, only six of them — Deleon Brown, Evan Battey, D’Shawn Schwartz, Tyler Bey, Daylen Kountz and Elijah Parquet — were inked on the early basketball signing date in November. The remainder — Namon Wright, Lucas Siewert, Shane Gatling, Alex Strating, Dallas Walton, McKinley Wright and newcomer Jakub Dombek — all were added during the spring recruiting period.

“We’re in a position where we have a good, young core group, and obviously we want to add to that,” Boyle said. “When you have one scholarship, it becomes pretty special. But we know from past experience that one scholarship can turn into two very quickly. We’re recruiting a lot of different guys, a lot of different positions.

“One thing we probably don’t need is a big man, which is kind of nice because they’re so hard to get and in such limited supply. But that will change in 2020. We’ll probably need to add another big there. We’re on some good guys and we’re looking at a lot of young players for the 2020 and 2021 classes that are right around the corner.”

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