Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Colorado head coach Tad Boyle is already on the recruiting trail for the 2020 season.

Even if the likely departure of junior guard Deleon Brown from the Colorado men’s basketball team becomes official, head coach Tad Boyle has said the signing last week of junior college guard Maddox Daniels finalizes the active roster for the 2019-20 season.

That means any further additions to fill a potential Brown vacancy later this spring or over the summer will be made with an eye toward the 2020-21 season.

If Brown leaves, and his spot is filled in the coming months, the Buffaloes will have two scholarships available from the 2019-20 senior class in forward Lucas Siewert and guard Shane Gatling. One of those spots seemingly has been filled already with the verbal commit from Columbine junior guard Luke O’Brien, yet as Boyle attempts to put the other pieces together he does so while ruminating some unanswerable questions.

That 2020 recruiting class might also require a potential replacement for Tyler Bey, who could go pro with a strong junior season next year. The same can be said for point guard McKinley Wright, and rare is the spring where at least one player doesn’t transfer out of the program.

“It used to be, when I was coaching at Northern Colorado and when I first got to Colorado, I always felt like it was important that you had to build a program, and build a program that’s sustainable year after year so you don’t have the year where you have six of your guys are graduating and you take a dip the next year,” Boyle said. “You always have the ups and downs to some degree but you try to smooth those out as best as you can by building a program.

“In college basketball now, you’re trying to build a team. I still fight that. I still want to try to build a program at Colorado. But you look at Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright as two prime examples. In the fall did I know they would be back next year? Well, I thought they would, but I wasn’t sure and it depends on the kind of year they have. And now I’m faced with the same thing. Is Tyler going to be back for his senior year? Is McKinley going to be back for his senior year? Those are questions that are a little foggy right now. You don’t know the answer. You have to make an educated guess and you have to be ready — whether it’s junior college players, whether it’s graduate transfers, whether it’s going to be guys sitting out and be eligible the next year — you try to balance all that together so that if kids leave early you don’t get caught with your pants down. And that’s a challenge.”

Boyle’s past two transfer signees — Daniels and Shane Gatling — were culled from the junior college ranks with immediate eligibility after getting just 44 games out of the three-year investment in former Missouri transfer Namon Wright, whose senior season this past year was cut short by injury.

Perhaps one sign of Brown’s imminent departure might be in the wide reports that have surfaced this week linking CU to the recruiting of former Villanova guard Jahvon Quinerly. Quinerly, who has a long list of suitors, is a former five-star prospect who originally was committed to Arizona before changing course in the aftermath of the FBI college basketball corruption probe. Quinerly averaged just 3.2 points in 25 games as a freshman with Villanova this past season, and he will have to sit out a season with three years of eligibility remaining.

This week, also reported the Buffs have offered a scholarship to Dalen Terry, a 6-foot-6 forward out of Tempe who is rated as a four-star recruit for the 2020 class. That seemingly longshot chance for the Buffs could be bridged by the addition of former Arizona State assistant Anthony Coleman, who is in line to fill the void on Boyle’s staff.

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