Anthony Coleman spent just one season on staff with the Colorado men’s basketball team. Certainly it was a memorable one, with the Buffaloes getting ranked in the AP top 25 more frequently than any CU team in history before a disappointing late five-game losing streak that preceded an even bigger disappointment with the pandemic-sparked cancellation of the NCAA Tournament.
After the season, Coleman returned to Arizona State, where he had spent the previous three seasons on Bobby Hurley’s staff. Yet if things unfold as planned with prized new commit Quincy Allen over the next five years, Coleman will have left an enduring stamp on head coach Tad Boyle’s program despite his short stint in Boulder.
Two weeks ago, the Buffs shocked the recruiting trail by landing a verbal commitment from Allen, a 6-foot-7 small forward prospect out of Washington D.C. ranked as a four-star recruit by 247Sports.com. That site also ranks Allen as the No. 57 prospect in the nation for the 2021 class, and Allen credited the influence of Coleman — who even doubled back after the job change this spring to reassure Allen that CU was the best fit for him — for driving the Buffs’ big recruiting coup.
It’s not often the Buffs land an east coast recruit who also had offers on the table from programs like UConn, Georgetown, Michigan, Syracuse, and Marquette, among dozens of others.
“I had a really good relationship (with Coleman),” Allen said. “He came out to watch me work out probably in early February and that’s how I got connected. I’ve still got a great relationship with coach Coleman. He really started this out for me to be in the position that I’m in.
“I definitely believe the style in the Pac-12 really complements my game, and coach Boyle really does a great job of coaching his players, and I really love his style of play and how he runs the offense.”
Just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down NCAA athletics, Allen visited CU in late February for the final home game against UCLA. A second-half collapse led to a deflating loss that day that began the Buffs’ late losing streak, yet the weekend proved to be a key mixer for the future of CU basketball. While Allen was able to meet 2019-20 stars like McKinley Wright IV and the since-departed Tyler Bey, he perhaps more importantly was able to bond with 2020 freshmen Dominique Clifford and Luke O’Brien, who also were at the game, as well as fellow 2021 commit Lawson Lovering, the 7-footer out of Wyoming.
In Lovering and Allen, both four-star recruits, the Buffs currently have the No. 10-ranked recruiting class in the nation for 2021, according to 247Sports.com. That is certain to change, but the opening salvo of landing Lovering and Allen is a huge momentum-builder for Boyle, who projects to have at least five scholarships available for 2021 from this upcoming season’s senior class of Wright, D’Shawn Schwartz, Jeriah Horne, Alex Strating, and Maddox Daniels.
“Me and Lawson talked the other week and he told me he’s excited to play with me, and I said it right back to him,” Allen said. “It’s important to click with them early on so it’s not a problem. From the jump, Colorado was No. 1 on my list. When I came on my visit I really felt like the community in Boulder really embraced me and I felt really welcome. I just felt like that was the best fit for me and my family.”