Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quick Post: Wednesdays with Ryan

Actual news regarding the basketball program is hard to come by these days.  It's the doldrums of summer, and what tidbits are out there are often more speculation than raw data.  That said,'s continuing series of basketball-centric chats with Ryan Thorburn every Wednesday at noon (Ringo holds a football-centric version every Monday) offer a bastion of reliable coverage in an otherwise desolate environment.  While I can't participate in that many of them (what with it being lunchtime, and all; fat guy's gotta eat!), they make for required after-the-fact reading.  If you aren't at least catching up in the evening, you just aren't trying.

True to form, Ryan had a few scraps of info for us hoops junkies this afternoon.

Recruiting news:

With the season still a full baseball year away, the biggest question left to be answered, beyond the evolving schedule, is the 2013 recruiting class.  With CU finally on the national radar, the speculation has been that CU would target a blue-chip whale to fill up what will probably be a very small class.  Confirming what has been assumed for months, Ryan had this to say:
"CU is targeting highly ranked shooting guards. Obviously, they can focus on quality instead of quantity in a small 2013 class. My guess is they will land a couple of very good players and will be very choosy about which ones to take."
The problem has always been, with no technical scholarships available in 2013, just how many will Coach Boyle and crew really have to hunt these whales?  Andre Roberson's presumed jump to the ranks of the NBA would free up one scholarship, enough to target a blue-chip prospect like Isaac Hamilton or Jabari Bird and hope for the best. The prospect of additional available scholarships comes down to the futures of Ben Mills and Shannon Sharpe.  The bench warriors seem to have limited on-court prospects, which lead some to speculate they will transfer out of the program.  With finals at Dear Old CU come and gone, now would be the season, and to that Ryan says:
"From what I know Shannon Sharpe is looking for somewhere else to play and the staff doesn't expect him to return to CU. Ben Mills will make a decision sometime next month and could be back."  
 That certainly makes some sense, as the recruiting rumor mill has churned out a few more 2nd and 3rd tier names recently.  I'm not saying talent can't be found off the front page of recruiting lists (Alec Burks and Andre Roberson can attest to that), what I am saying is that the staff's willingness to pursue a wider net in recruiting leads me to believe that they are banking on more than one scholarship.  Further, even if Shannon and/or Ben stay on the CU bench this winter, that doesn't mean they will still be in Boulder at the open of '13-'14.

Incoming class locked and loaded:

Putting all rumors to the contrary aside, Ryan dropped this nugget today.
"Boyle does expect all six freshmen to be enrolled at CU for the June session. That's good news."
There had been some talk that not all members of the '12 class were locks to qualify (Wes Gordon was the name I heard most often).  That is apparently no longer an issue, and the full 6-person class should be able to help the team win in the fall.  Redshirt scenarios are still up in the air, but at least Coach Boyle and Crew will have the full stock room to cook with.

Hawai'i's back on the menu:

Those of you who like traveling with the Buffs will get a kick out of this one:
"Boyle expects Buffs to play In Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu) around Christmas of 2014."
Should that become finalized, it'll make three times in seven seasons that the Buffs will have played their holiday tournament in the 50th state (Rainbow Classic, DHC precursor, in '08, and Maui Invitational in '09). 

I went to this tournament last Christmas, and let me say it's a good spot for the program.  The field is much more inviting, in terms of potential wins, than the Maui Invitational is, and it's on the ESPN family of networks, meaning plenty of viewing options.  The host Stan Sheriff center, and the surrounding University of Hawai'i campus, is a little dopey (though the garlic fries were awesome), but it's only a short bus ride from Waikiki Beach. I'm already starting to save up for the trip. 

No comments: