Game day notes: Big time transfer prospect Jaylon Tyson visits CU Buffs

Buffs need to clear defensive boards against WSU

Evan Battey and the Colorado Buffaloes will need a strong game on the glass during a home showdown against Washington State.  (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Evan Battey and the Colorado Buffaloes will need a strong game on the glass during a home showdown against Washington State. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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A young team already long on potential for the next few seasons has a very real chance of landing a talented reinforcement.

As the Colorado men’s basketball team prepared for its long-awaited return to competition on Thursday night at home against Washington State (7 p.m., ESPN2), the Buffaloes on Wednesday hosted a visit for former five-star prospect and University of Texas transfer Jaylon Tyson.

The Buffs can offer one thing some, but certainly not all, potential suitors have in an open scholarship that would allow Tyson to begin practicing immediately with his new squad. CU also has something no other school can offer Tyson — an opportunity to play ball on the same college campus as his brother.

Ranked as the No. 36 prospect in the 2021 recruiting class by 247Sports.com, Tyson became one of the most coveted players in the transfer portal when he opted to leave Texas in December after playing in just eight games. A native of Allen, Tex., Tyson’s brother, incoming freshman wide receiver Jordyn Tyson, signed a letter of intent with the Buffs’ football team on Dec. 15.

A 6-foot-7 small forward, Tyson enjoyed a strong debut for Texas, going 5-for-5 with 11 points during the Longhorns’ opening night win against Houston Baptist. But in Tyson’s next seven appearances, he went a combined 1-for-10 with three points before announcing his intention to hit the transfer portal.

Tyson originally was committed to Texas Tech but followed former Red Raiders coach Chris Beard to Austin. After Texas’ win against Incarnate Word on Dec. 28, Beard told reporters, “I respect Jaylon’s decision he made with his family. I think the decision was made out of playing time, is what he told me.”

Tyson has three years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2022-23 season but, potentially, he still could join the Buffs ahead of the spring semester and begin practicing immediately. CU has been operating with an open scholarship since the midsummer departure of transfer guard Mason Faulkner.

Glass work

It has been 19 days since the Buffs last hit the floor in a Dec. 18 win against Cal State Bakersfield. One trait Washington State has in common with CSU Bakersfield is a knack for grabbing offensive rebounds.

CU head coach Tad Boyle warned his team about Bakersfield’s ability on the offensive glass, and the Roadrunners still managed to stay close in a 60-46 CU win in large part because they turned 11 offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points. A similar inability to secure defensive rebounds might prove more costly for CU against the Cougars.

Heading into Thursday’s games, WSU ranks second in the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds per game (13.1), third in overall defensive field goal percentage (.389), and fourth in 3-point defensive field goal percentage (.305).

“They’re one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country. They do a great job of going to the glass,” Boyle said. “Limiting them to one shot, and we’ve got to be patient on offense and make sure we’re getting good shots. Because they test your offense. They’re a good defensive team.”

Notable

A reminder CU is hosting a gift card drive at the Events Center this weekend to aid victims of the Marshall Fire. Donors are asked to write the monetary value of the cards on the envelopes, and they will be disturbed through the Boulder Office of Emergency Management…Sophomore forward Tristan da Silva will look to shake a 4-for-22 shooting slump over the past three games…Boyle soon will be hitting a career milestone. Including his four seasons at Northern Colorado, Boyle goes into the Washington State with 298 wins as a Division I head coach.