Monday marks the two-week notice for when Colorado’s basketball teams can resume on-court workouts.
Men’s coach Tad Boyle probably can be described as cautiously optimistic those July 20 workouts will unfold as planned. The good news for the Buffaloes is that Boyle reports no one on his team has tested positive for COVID-19. Meaning that, at the moment, none of the Buffs are in any sort of forced quarantine that might compromise the ability to have the entire team on the floor in two weeks.
Yet as the pandemic continues to surge across large swaths of the country, including several areas within the Pac-12 Conference footprint, Boyle understands any level of optimism could be dashed at a moment’s notice.
“I’ve mentioned that if our players this summer can get bigger and faster and stronger with (strength coach) Steve Englehart in our weight room, and they’ve been with him since June 15th, and if every one of them can become a better shooter, which you can do with one ball and one basket, it will be a successful summer,” Boyle said. “When you talk about July 20th, when you talk about workouts, when you talk about the next steps, all I can say is that I’m hopeful. But those are decisions that are going to be made above my head.
“We’re just going to have to take it as it goes. Knock on wood, but our guys got here June 15th and we haven’t had any issues. We haven’t had any positive tests. Our guys have done what we’ve asked them to do. And again, I knock on wood when I say this, but so far, so good (two weeks) into this deal. Hopefully we get through July Fourth weekend with no issues.”
The summer workouts might be more critical to the Buffs than in recent summers due to the glut of newcomers on the roster. While the Buffs still are expected to feature senior point guard McKinley Wright along with a solid cast of veterans like Evan Battey, D’Shawn Schwartz, Dallas Walton, and Eli Parquet, they also have four prominent new freshmen Dominique Clifford, Luke O’Brien, Jabari Walker, and Tristan da Silva, who isn’t expected to arrive from Germany until August.
That list doesn’t include Tulsa graduate transfer Jeriah Horne and two new walk-ons in Isaac Jessup and Owen Koonce. While the Buffs continue their voluntary workouts, Boyle and his staff continue to preach the virtues of making smart decisions in hopes of hitting the floor on July 20.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going to micromanage our players,” Boyle said. “I’m not going to check up on them 24 hours a day. I can’t do that. Nobody can do that with their players. But I tell them to act responsibly, act respectfully, and take care of yourselves. If they do those three things, I’m going to be fine with it. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to be immune from coming down with the virus. It doesn’t mean I’m immune to it. It just means we’re going to act responsibly, act respectfully, and try to try to keep ourselves as safe as possible.”