This week and next, we will count down the most important players for the upcoming Colorado Buffaloes basketball season. Colorado is a deep team who returns every contributor from last season. If they are going to break out in 2019-20, it will because of their depth and experience.
The first player on this countdown is the sophomore wing from Beaumont, Texas. Eli Parquet is a very talented and toolsy prospect who the CU coaching staff will be developing for the near future.
For Parquet, it all begins with his athletic gifts. He’s 6’3 and built strong as hell, has long arms and quick hands, and can even get up to block shots. He projects as a defensive stopper who will do the dirty work in a supporting role. Parquet was raw as a freshman, but because his defensive IQ is advanced for his age, Tad Boyle trusted him to stabilize the perimeter when the defense was scuffling. Unfortunately, just as Parquet was earning more minutes, he injured his knee and missed the next seven games.
Over the offseason, Parquet worked considerably on his jump shot. He had clunky mechanics that he has ironed out, and though he isn’t quite there yet, he’s going to shoot better than 24% from three. For now, Parquet’s offensive game will be cutting, leaking out in transition, and hitting the occasional open shot. Tad Boyle called him the best cutter on the team, according to Pat Rooney, and his athleticism (along with Daylen Kountz’s) will be fun to see in transition with Evan Battey throwing him outlet passes.
In 2019-20, Parquet figures to be a developmental player whose proven skills can make him dependable in certain matchups. The Buffs are fairly deep on the wings, so they can afford to be patient with him. If CU is struggling with perimeter defense (i.e. if Shane Gatling or Maddox Daniels are not focused), Boyle will not hesitate to play his most talented wing defender. Those will be the minutes Parquet soaks up, although his role could grow if the Kountz-Parquet-Battey trinity of transition buckets proves effective.