Strike 2: The Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball season has featured the same kinds of fits and spurts that many teams across the country have had to deal with (including Colorado State.) The uber-talented Buffs have been dominant on their home court, but struggled away from Boulder. After losing at Utah (the Utes are unbeaten at home, 3-7 on the road) CU sits at 15-7 overall, with just one conference road win (three road wins overall) on the season.

The Buffs have more difficult tasks ahead, including a visit from Pac-12 leading Arizona coming up. Still, this should be a NCAA Tournament team when March arrives.

What makes Tad Boyle’s 2023-24 CU team unique is what may happen after the season. When the NBA Draft arrives, it’s not inconceivable that as many as three current Buffs could get selected in the first round.

Think about that for a moment. There are 30 NBA teams making selections. Three of those selections could come from the same (not North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky or Kansas) school.

The three standouts haven’t gotten to play together as much as Boyle had planned on, but they have shown the ability to be dynamic.

Start with Boyle’s prized freshman. He outdid himself in recruiting five-star Cody Williams out of Arizona last summer. Williams is widely expected to be a “one-and-done” teenager, meaning one season of college before he heads straight for adulthood and the NBA. He’s projected to be a top-five pick, the first American collegiate player chosen.

Williams’ first – and likely only – season in Boulder hasn’t produced eye popping stats. The 6-foot-8 wing is averaging just under 15 points and four rebounds per game, but has shown the ability to take over games in spurts. He hasn’t yet grown into this NBA sized frame, and has missed a lot of time due to injuries – eight games earlier in the season, and he didn’t take the court against Utah. But that doesn’t put any sort of damper on his long term prospects, or what he may be able to do for CU down the stretch.

On the other end of the age/experience spectrum is 6-foot-9 forward Tristan da Silva, who’s projected to go anywhere between the middle of the first round and middle of the second. Not blessed with the same overall set of natural athleticism as Williams, the 22-year-old da Silva makes up for it with basketball experience, savvy and good interior skills.

The Buffs most productive player from the start of the season through today has been guard K.J. Simpson, who thus far has avoided the injury bug and led the Buffs in scoring, averaging almost 20 points per game. The 6-foot-2 guard might not have the kind of size and athleticism that jump out at scouts, but like da Silva, he’s got toughness and a high basketball IQ. When things have gotten tough for CU, it’s been Simpson that’s stepped up. He scored 12 points in the final two minutes against the Utes, but without Williams, the comeback attempt came up short. While most mock drafts have Simpson going in the second round, some have him going late in the first.

So while it’s unlikely, it is possible that three Colorado Buffaloes could be among the top 30 players picked in the NBA Draft. Needless to say, that would be a first for the program. It would be a first for a whole lot of programs.

The problem for the Buffs to this point of the season is that nagging injuries have kept this dynamic trio from being on the court together as much as CU faithful would like to see. Boyle and his staff are very likely staying up late at night, pondering what it would be like having all three on the court together for a long stretch of time – hopefully in March.