Arrival of Tristan da Silva completes CU men’s basketball 2020-21 roster

Tough personnel decisions down the road for coach Tad Boyle

The final piece for Colorado’s 2020-21 season, whenever it tips off, has finally arrived in Boulder.

This past week, German wing Tristan da Silva cleared the mounds of red tape necessary to get international recruits on campus. Da Silva, the younger brother of Stanford star Oscar da Silva, still will have to wait for a full-fledged greeting with all his new teammates, as he currently is undergoing a mandatory quarantine after traveling, yet his arrival at least relieves head coach Tad Boyle of one pandemic-related headache.

“He’s here. He’s in Bolder and quarantining,” Boyle said. “He’s excited to be here. We’re excited to have him here. Can’t wait for him to get through all the protocols he has to get through to be cleared. But it’s been a long journey for him and his family. I’ve talked about this a lot, but the mental health of the student-athletes is real. And to see his face and his smile and his reaction to arriving in Boulder is priceless.”

Bringing international recruits to America always involves handling mounds of paperwork. Boyle admitted the COVID-19 pandemic magnified that process somewhat for the 6-foot-8 da Silva.

“It was more on the German side and the embassy there,” Boyle said. “It was a little bit certainly with COVID and all the hoops these young men and women have to go through to get their I-20s, get them stamped and approved in their county and get on a plane. There’s more hoops to jump through now than there was then, pre-COVID. I think that’s part of the relief as well for him. We’re glad to have him.”

Da Silva’s arrival completes the Buffs’ impressive freshman class — which includes Colorado natives Dominique Clifford and Luke O’Brien, in addition to forward Jabari Walker — and adds another new face to a roster full of newcomers. In addition to the four freshmen, the Buffs also have added graduate transfer Jeriah Horne and two new walk-ons in Coloradoans Isaac Jessup and Owen Koonce. That list also can include point guard Keeshawn Barthelemy, who redshirted last year as a true freshman.

Even in a normal year, this particular roster makeup might cause Boyle to make some tough personnel decisions in terms of possible redshirts. Given that even in a best-case scenario, the possible season that won’t tip off until at least Jan. 1 is likely to feature fewer games and a revamped postseason, Boyle and his staff will have to weigh whether it will be worth sacrificing a season of eligibility for any of the rookies or even veterans who have yet to take redshirt seasons, such as Eli Parquet or D’Shawn Schwartz.

To be clear, Boyle did not discuss any particular players or potential scenarios. Yet he did admit the altered state of the season could influence his personnel decisions in the months to come.

“I’ve thought about it,” Boyle said. “I’ve talked about it with my staff. Those decisions are off in the future. They’re certainly not on the table right now. I’m the kind of coach that doesn’t make a decision until I have to. The situation is so fluid. It can be so different. I’m not going to make a decision about that now.”