On Wednesday morning, Pat Rooney of the Boulder Daily Camera reported that the Colorado Buffaloes were set to add Tristan da Silva to the 2020 recruiting class. Shortly thereafter, the German-Brazilian forward made it official.
Da Silva is a bit of an unknown. He is coming straight from the Bayern Munich youth academy, so there’s not much film on him. He also wasn’t highly recruited by colleges and he’s not an NBA draft prospect (yet), so hasn’t been much reported about him as a prospect. What we do know about da Silva is that he’s Oscar da Silva’s little brother. Oscar is the star forward of the Stanford Cardinal, the player whom Evan Battey accidentally ran over in that horrifying fall.
Other than them being similar builds — Oscar is 6’9, 225-lbs., while Tristan is 6’8, 205-lbs. at just 18-years-old — it’s probably unfair to compare the Da Silva brothers. According to the clips I’m finding, it appears that Tristan’s game is more perimeter oriented and that he prefers to slash to the basket. His jumper is very clean and he doesn’t lower the ball on the catch-and-shoot. He seems to have a high feel for the game and he’s a pesky on-ball defender who could be a legitimate problem as he grows into his frame.
Da Silva joins a recruiting class that features a combo guard in Nique Clifford, a slasher/shooter in Luke O’Brien, and a combo forward in Jabari Walker. (You can also count Keeshawn Barthelemy, the electric guard who redshirted in 2019-20.) Those freshmen are coming in along with Jeriah Horne, the graduate transfer from Tulsa who profiles as a stretch-4. The Buffs had five scholarships to fill and da Silva would be the fifth.
Although we don’t know much about Tristan da Silva, this signing does give insight into Tad Boyle’s plans. If da Silva is expected to play right away — and I have literally no idea — then the Buffs will be prioritizing length on the wing without having much size at the rim. That’s not a bad idea moving forward, as it suggests a certain positionless component to the game we have seen take over the NBA. Not many college teams are going that route, but if you can survive on defense then it’s a great way to get the most shooting, playmaking and overall skill on the floor.