While one member of the vaunted freshman class of the Colorado men’s basketball team deals with having his season come to an abrupt end in September, the Buffaloes hope to get another one of their rookies up to speed soon.
The first official preseason practice of the 2021-22 campaign on Tuesday saw freshman forward Quincy Allen on crutches after his recent season-ending hip surgery, while guard Javon Ruffin continued to work his way back from a right knee injury.
“He’s coming along,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said of Ruffin. “Every time I think it’s going to be a week or two, now it’s going to be three. Until a guy is ready to go, he’s not ready to go. We’re anxious to get him out there.
“In my meeting with him I told him you can’t get a little bit pregnant — you can play, or you can’t play. Right now, he can’t play. He can do some things, but he can’t play. We’re looking forward to the day he can play. I don’t know when that’s going to be. Obviously that’s going to be dependent on his knee and the doctors and the trainers.”
Allen, from Washington DC, is one of the three four-star freshmen in the Buffs’ recruiting class, alongside guard KJ Simpson and 7-footer Lawson Lovering. He was sidelined by the hip injury during the Buffs’ practices in early August prior to their exhibition trip to Costa Rica but now will be forced to redshirt during his freshman season.
While Allen’s recovery is expected to be a long-term process that will preclude him from much, if any, practice time even later in the season, Boyle remains confident a year of observing and studying can be beneficial for Allen.
“It’s hard. It’s not easy being on crutches. It will be nice when those are done because now he can walk around and at least be one of the guys,” Boyle said. “It’s difficult, but Quincy has processed it. He’s accepted it. I think he’s doing OK. I don’t have any reason to believe otherwise.
“I look at Evan Battey out there, and if Evan doesn’t have the redshirt year as a freshman, he’s not out there. What a blessing it is to have a fifth-year senior like Evan Battey. So if we can kind of fast-forward the clock with Quincy on that, in the long run it might be a better thing for him in terms of his development as a player, because he can watch and see and learn this year without burning a year of eligibility.”
Tuesday’s workout marked the 12th season-opening practice for Boyle, who professed he felt the same first-day giddiness he experienced during his first practice with the Buffaloes in 2010.
“It feels like year one, to be honest with you,” Boyle said. “Every year, the first day of practice, that energy is there, the butterflies are there, the anticipation is there. It just feels like year one, not year 12.”
Going into season 12, only Sox Walseth (506) has coached more men’s basketball games at CU than Boyle (376). Barring an unexpectedly stellar year, Boyle (233 wins) will reach Walseth’s all-time wins record (261) early next season.
In addition to the exhibition game at Nebraska on Oct. 31, the Buffs will host Colorado Mines in an exhibition at the CU Events Center on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.…Boyle rounded out his roster of walk-ons by adding Cody Mains and 6-foot guard Jack Pease. Mains is a 6-foot-8 forward from Fairfax, Va., and Pease is a 6-foot guard from Dallas…The Buffs plan to host an intrasquad scrimmage that will be open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 16. Tipoff will be a few hours ahead of the home football game against Arizona, and the kickoff time for that game will not be announced until Monday.