With the announcement of Tristan da Silva’s return for his fourth season in the black and gold, Tad Boyle & company are primed to turn heads this upcoming season with a bolstered squad.
On top of da Silva’s withdrawal from the NBA Draft, the Buffs’ basketball team has some Louis luggage of its own coming to Boulder this fall.
The most exciting addition to the roster comes in the form of 6-foot-8 freshman forward Cody Williams.
The 2023 prospect is the little brother to Oklahoma City Thunder and recent Rookie of the Year finalist, Jalen Williams. The quick rise to stardom for his older brother has certainly helped build the hype around Cody.
During his senior season, Williams turned heads nationally, becoming a top 10 prospect across all major scouting platforms. He even rose to high as the #1 overall prospect in the 2023 class for On3 Sports.
His consensus top-10 ranking resulted in an invitation to the McDonald’s All-American game earlier this Spring. There Williams displayed immense offensive skills, both in the scoring and passing departments. The Gilbert, Arizona native threw down an impressive dunk in the process of his eight-point outing for Team East.
The five-star recruit is officially the highest-ranked recruit in Colorado basketball history. With this, a great amount of hype has been built around the 18-year-old freshman.
But experts aren’t worried about the pressure. In fact, some mock drafts have Williams going as high as second overall in the 2024 NBA draft – even more uncharted territory for a Buff. The sky looks to be the limit with Williams in Boulder next season.
Tristan da Silva
By far the most significant news for Tad & Co. this offseason has been forward phenom Tristan da Silva pulling his name from the NBA draft the day of the deadline.
Last year the junior averaged 15.9 points per game on an efficient 49.6% from the field. These numbers included a five-game stretch during Pac-12 play where da Silva scored at least 20 points; making him da Silva the first Buff to do so in seven years.
The German’s game broke out in all aspects last season, allowing him to test the draft waters. However, with the additions that are coming into Boulder, it looked like too good of an opportunity for the Pac-12 first-teamer to pass up.
“We have a really good team,” said da Silva. “Potentially the best in CU history. I’m confident we can do what we want to do. We want to finish on top of the Pac-12, and I want to get back into the tournament again. The safest way to get there is by winning the Pac-12 Championship.”
With the new weapons plus the return of key pieces like da Silva and Simpson, those goals are well within reach for the Buffs next season.
Williams could be the rocketship that helps propel this team to new heights, Lampkin looks to be the anchor that this squad desperately needs.
Coach Boyle said multiple times over the course of last season that a lack of discipline across the team could be attributed to the lack of a true leader. The veteran presence and bright personality of Big Ed should become a quick favorite, both for the fans and players.
Lampkin has already shown his passion for his new school, becoming an active voice for not only CU Buffs’ basketball but football as well. The big man transfer traveled up to Boulder for the Spring Game in late April and has been repping the black and gold with pride on social media.
The 6-foot-10, 295-pound center will create a much more dominant presence down low than what the Buffs had last season at the five. With that, comes a promising frontcourt presence of Lampkin alongside da Silva.
Early Starting Five Prediction
With the draft withdrawal deadline passed and the dust finally settled, a clearer image of CU’s starting five is starting to appear.
It looks like the Buffs could roll out quite the tall starting five next season. With KJ Simpson as the starting point guard, Tad could slot 6-foot-7 Luke O’Brien at the two. 5-star Cody Williams would slide into the three, leaving Tristan da Silva at the four, and Lampkin rounding out the starting five at the center position.
This lengthy lineup should cause headaches on defense, create turnovers and get out and running for a very effective transition offense.
With one roster spot still open, there’s potential for Colorado to add a cherry on top of what is shaping up to be an elite squad.