It’s hard to remember a time when there’s been more optimism or excitement surrounding either the CU Buffs’ men’s or women’s basketball programs, than there is right now.

Both teams have a foundation of talented players returning for another season to pair with some extremely gifted new additions, and as a result, should compete for their respectice Pac-12 Championships next season.

With that in mind, who’s staying around to pursue a conference title, who are the Colorado Buffaloes adding to the roster to aid their chase, and who’s deciding to leave Boulder behind? Let’s look.

CU Buffs Men transfer tracker

Who’s staying with the CU Buffs?

Tristan Da Silva (probably*): The future of Tristan Da Silva hasn’t been decided yet, but all signs currently point to him likely returning to the Boulder campus in the fall.

Da Silva was comfortably the team’s best overall player and scorer a season ago and earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a result. The idea of pairing the team’s leader and star player with Cody Williams, the highest-rated recruit in the history of the program, is something that CU Buffs fans have been drooling over all season.

That dream will probably come to fruition, but Da Silva’s season was strong enough that he wants to take a peek at his NBA Draft market. After he gets his grade, all expectations are that he will return to CU for his senior season, but there’s always the potential for him to leave, as fans recently learned with Jabari Walker’s surprise departure for the draft.

K.J. Simpson, J’Vonne Hadley, Julian Hammond, Luke O’Brien, & Javon Ruffin: There’s no drama here. You can rest easy assuming that all of these players will be on the Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team this coming season, and they’ll provide a steady foundation for head coach Tad Boyle to build on.

In some ways, K.J. Simpson and J’Vonne Hadley will almost operate as new additions to the roster, after both missed the last several games of the season with injuries. As a result of those absences though, Julian Hammond, Luke O’Brien, and Javon Ruffin were all forced to step up, and all blossomed to various degrees.

The CU Buffs look considerably deeper now than they did 12 months ago, even with all of their transfer losses.

Who’s leaving?

Lawson Lovering: The most painful loss of the offseason so far, for either the men’s or women’s programs, is the loss of Lawson Lovering to the rival Utah Utes.

Lovering failed to live up to his recruiting expectations but was still a defensive lynchpin for the Buffaloes, and down the stretch, showed serious signs of blossoming offensively. On the season, he averaged a meager 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds over 22.9 minutes per game, but over the final eight games of the season, he averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds over 28.8 minutes a night.

Unfortunately for Tad Boyle and Co., Lovering will now continue to blossom on the other side of the Rocky Mountains, and Colorado’s center rotation is set to look dramatically different.

Nique Clifford: The loss of Nique Clifford seems damaging at first glance, considering he started almost every game for last season’s CU Buffs, but a closer look reveals that Colorado will likely be just fine.

For starters, Clifford was outperformed on a consistent basis by Luke O’Brien. O’Brien doesn’t quite have the short-area quickness that Clifford does but has otherwise been the superior player all-around.

Clifford’s 37.4% shooting percentage is the worst on the team outside of Quincy Allen, and he took the third-most shots for the Buffs this season. It feels that way when you watch him play too. Too frequently, especially in comparison to the other players, Clifford will turn down the extra pass in order to create a scoring opportunity for himself, which — more often than not — he fails to convert.

With the additions to the roster the CU Buffs have made and the young talent they already have, they might even be better off without Nique Clifford soaking up minutes and usage.

Quincy Allen: Quincy Allen arrived in Boulder as one of the highest-rated recruits in program history, and the fact that the Buffaloes will never get enjoy his realized potential is a shame, but this loss should be the least impactful.

In both their second years with the program, Javon Ruffin outplayed Quincy Allen for minutes, and earned a much larger role with the team than Allen, despite Allen being a higher-rated member of the same recruiting class.

Up until February 23rd of his sophomore season, Allen played just nine minutes of basketball for Colorado, and he only played more down the stretch as a result of injury. It seems like the marriage between Allen and the Buffaloes wasn’t working for either side, making his decision to transfer understandable.

Who’s arriving?

Eddie Lampkin Jr.: Even before losing Lawson Lovering to the portal, the CU Buffs could’ve used some help at center. Following his departure, that desire to upgrade became a desperate need to make sure the roster had a capable center.

By landing Eddie Lampkin Jr., Tad Boyle has ensured they have one.

Lampkin started a majority of the last two seasons for the TCU Horned Frogs and should bring a dramatically different feel to the center position than what Lovering brought.

With Lovering, there was a consistent frustration with softness. He was routinely out-rebounded by guards and robbed of possession by other bigs when he got the ball down underneath the basket. Against physical bigs, it felt like you were watching a bully pick on one of their classmates.

Unlike Lovering, Lampkin will be the bully in that scenario. At 6-foot-11 and 300 pounds, few players in the Pac-12 can physcially go toe-to-toe with Lampkin, and even fewer will want to.

CU Buffs Women transfer tracker

Who’s staying with the CU Buffs?

Quay Miller & Jaylyn Sherrod: Over the last two weeks, the Colorado Buffaloes women’s basketball team were gifted an incredible boon, as both Quay Miller and Jaylyn Sherrod announced their desire to return to the program for another season

The return of Sherrod and Miller is tremendous for CU, as these are the two leaders of the team that just reached the Sweet 16. Quay Miller served as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder this season, while Jaylyn Sherrod operated as the team’s best defensive player, an offensive playmaker, and the overall heartbeat of the team.

With their return, the Buffaloes find themselves in great position to not only repeat last year’s tremendous season, but to build on it, and to potentially reach even higher peaks.

Frida Formann, Aaronette Vonleh, Tameiya Sadler & Brianna McLeod: On top of their two biggest stars, the CU Buffs are set to return just about every key roleplayer from their Sweet-16 run as well.

Frida Formann was a shooting ace for the Buffaloes throughout the season and her epic performance against the Blue Devils was the primary reason for Colorado advancing past the second round of this year’s tournament. Aaronette Vonleh co-won the award for the conference’s most improved player, and in the postseason, was Buffs’ best big, over Miller.

Tameiya Sadler has been a tremendous leader, off the bench, at the point guard position for CU, and that should only continue into 2023-2024.

Brianna McLeod didn’t see a ton of playing time but showed signs of being a big-time player, as she quickly supplanted Charlotte Whitaker as the team’s best bench big.

Who’s leaving?

Tayanna Jones: As of now, the only known departure on the CU Buffs’ women’s team is the exit of starting guard Tayanna Jones.

At first glance, that might not seem like the worst loss, as Jones was outproduced in almost every statistical category, but so much of what Jones did just doesn’t appear on the stat sheet.

Among a squad of tremendous defenders, Jones had a legitimate case for being the very best one. She was an expert perimeter defender with active hands and impressive length, allowing her to lead the team in blocks by a wide margin, despite playing guard. Jones also managed to leave on a high note, as her early scoring outburst against the Duke Blue Devils proved pivotal to the upset victory that sent the CU Buffs to their first Sweet 16 in two decades.

Charlotte Whitaker: Although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, the expectation is currently that Charlotte Whitaker will move on after completing her senior year of studies at CU.

Whitaker didn’t occupy a critical role for the Buffaloes, but she did provide Quay Miller and Aaronette Vonleh some time off the floor. JR Payne will need one of her young bigs to step up, or she’ll be forced to turn to the transfer portal for an answer.

Jada Wynn, Lizzie Holder & Ally Fitzgerald: The Colorado Buffaloes are losing three of their four signees from last year’s recruiting class, gutting a good chunk of the roster’s depth.

Of those three, Jada Wynn was the only one that saw a large chunk of playing time last time last season, and her absence will loom the largest. Wynn was an obvious potential option to replace Tayanna Jones in CU’s lineup, as gifted scorer and defender on the wing.

JR Payne will have to find a replacement in the portal, or put a lot on the plate of true freshman Ruthie Loomis-Goltl in order to replace Wynn in the lineup.

Lizzie Holder and Ally Fitzgerald were two freshman additions a season ago, but after failing to catch on with the CU Buffs, they’ll be entering the transfer portal.

The two combined to play just 38 minutes on the season, so the impact of their departure won’t be felt immediately, but it will sap Colorado of some of their young death. That could prove to be a problem come 2024-2025, when Jaylyn Sherrod, Quay Miller, and potentially more key contributors will be out the door.

Who’s arriving?

Shelomi Sanders: The CU Buffs women haven’t added any players from the transfer portal yet, outside of Shelomi Sanders — Coach Prime’s daughter — from Jackson State.

How much Sanders will contribute to next year’s team remains a question, as she played just nine minutes for JSU this past season, as a freshman walk-on. It’s likely her role will be pretty small though, at least for next year’s team.

Although Colorado has otherwise been silent on the transfer front, there is a lot of exciting, high-end talent sitting out there, just waiting to be poached.

They are also adding two top-80-ranked freshmen. Kennedy Sanders is a high-end point guard, who projects to be the future of the position in Boulder, once Jalyn Sherrod and Kindyll Wetta move on. Ruthie Loomis-Goltl is a coveted wing with excellent scoring and defensive ability who owns her school’s career records for points and blocks.