Tristan da Silva currently is the only Colorado men’s basketball player on campus. Yet the Buffaloes’ collective summer plans quickly are coming into focus.
Head coach Tad Boyle told BuffZone his team’s international exhibition tour tentatively will be held in Costa Rica. Boyle previously said Canada was an option but, barring unforeseen setbacks, the new-look Buffs will head to Central America in August.
Foreign exhibition tours are allowed once every four years in NCAA basketball, and this year’s trip will be a timely one for Boyle’s program. The rotation likely will see a sweeping overhaul beyond returning starters Evan Battey and Eli Parquet, as the Buffs welcome five new freshmen in addition to Western Carolina graduate transfer Mason Faulkner.
The practices teams get to hold ahead of such trips could prove critical for a Buffs team that has said farewell to 62.1 percent of its scoring production, including three of the top four scorers in McKinley Wright IV, Jeriah Horne, and D’Shawn Schwartz.
“It’s absolutely crucial for next year’s team to get to know each other and have a chance to bond and forge relationships,” Boyle said. “Obviously we’ll be not as top-heavy with seniors next year. We’ll have a lot of new faces that have to figure out how to play with each other. That’s why it’s so critical that we take advantage of this trip this year. This team next year needs a jump-start and I think it will help and really benefit us, especially in the month of November when we’re playing nonconference games.”
Teams are allowed 10 practices ahead of international summer trips. Boyle said the team is scheduled to reconvene in Boulder by June 1, with the first five of those 10 practices penciled in for late June. The Buffs will conduct the final five practices later in the summer before departing for Costa Rica.
“To do 10 days of practice in a row is tough,” Boyle said. “And even those five days, we might go with two days on, one day off, practice three days kind of deal. We’ll figure that out as we go through June. But the plan is five (practices) in June and five in August.”
Boyle reported the 2021-22 nonconference schedule will soon be completed, and an incoming recruiting class currently ranked ninth in the nation by 247Sports.com will be put to the test early. CU already is set to host Kansas and Tennessee in Boulder, and will play three games at the Paradise Jam in the US Virgin Islands against a field scheduled to include Creighton, Colorado State, Bradley, Brown, Duquesne, Southern Illinois, and Northeastern.
“We’re still finishing up one more game, but it’s going to be a pretty challenging one,” Boyle said of his club’s nonconference slate. “We’re going to need a little bit of work on the front end, and this trip will allow that.”