Deleon Brown has not yet left the Colorado men’s basketball program. But the doorway for that departure is unlocked and perhaps even ajar for the junior guard.
Head coach Tad Boyle confirmed Brown has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, but reiterated no decision has been made regarding Brown’s future — with the Buffs or otherwise.
A 6-foot-4 guard from Grand Rapids, Mich., Brown was expected to provide, at the least, solid perimeter defense for a Buffs team that entered the 2018-19 season with just one senior (Namon Wright) and two returning juniors (Brown and Lucas Siewert) on the roster. But academic issues derailed Brown’s season from the early stages, with the junior guard getting sidelined for the second semester after being ruled academically ineligible.
Brown played his last game on Dec. 22 against Indiana State at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii. Though Brown technically remained eligible through CU’s home date against Washington on Jan. 12, Boyle opted to keep Brown on the bench as soon as his grades were posted and his inevitable suspension was confirmed. At that time Boyle also revealed the academic troubles are what kept Brown on the bench for the Buffs’ preseason exhibition against Colorado Mines as well as the season opener against Drake.
Boyle has stated consistently over the past few months Brown’s fate at CU will be determined in large part by his second semester grades.
Brown played in just 10 games this past season, averaging 4.1 points off the bench with a .324 shooting percentage. In his career at CU, Brown has appeared in 63 games (10 starts) while averaging 4.0 points.
If Brown opts to transfer he will have to sit out one season, unless he transfers down a division, with one season of eligibility remaining.
With 6-foot-6 junior college guard Maddox Daniels pledging a verbal commitment to the Buffs for the 2019-20 season earlier this week, any further roster defections this spring likely will result in Boyle and his staff using the open slot with an eye toward 2020-21. With next year’s rotation seemingly set, Boyle also could go into the 2019-20 season with a scholarship at his disposal, as he did this year, to use during the 2020 spring recruiting cycle.