Adjusting to college life never is an easy part of the process for incoming freshmen.

Adjusting to college life never is an easy part of the process for incoming freshmen.

For Colorado rookie Sebastian Rancik, moving to Boulder has simply been another step in his life’s routine.

The freshman forward from North Macedonia, by way of Southern California, already has lived a nomadic life. Rancik was born in Greece and spent about six years of his childhood in Spain. He also lived in Slovakia before moving to J Serra Catholic High School in San Capistrano, Calif., in pursuit of his basketball dreams.

It’s a similar path as the one once traveled by former Buffs forward Lucas Siewert, a native of Brazil who played prep basketball in Southern California before a solid four-year career at CU. Rancik, a 6-foot-9 forward, projects as a stretch-four type player in the mold of Siewert or Tristan da Silva.

“Another one of those reasons why I moved to the States was just so I can get used to the mentality and the culture and the way basketball is played in the States. Because it’s different than it’s played in Europe,” Rancik said. “I knew that I wanted to go to college in the U.S., and I want to play in the NBA. So I kind of wanted to get used to the mentality, so when I got to this level I’d kind of have a head start a little.”

Rancik has arrived alongside his rookie teammates — guards Andrew Crawford and Felix Kossaras — facing a frontcourt situation that has grown more competitive since Rancik signed in November. Despite losing da Silva, likely to be picked in the NBA draft later this month, and center Eddie Lampkin Jr., who transferred to Syracuse, head coach Tad Boyle focused on restocking the frontcourt depth this spring, adding graduate transfers Andrej Jakimovski (Washington State), Trevor Baskin (Colorado Mesa) and Elijah Malone (Hope College). The Buffs also have two rising sophomores in the frontcourt in Assane Diop and Bangot Dak.

It is far too early to project whether Rancik might have an opportunity to earn playing time in the crowded front court picture, or if the veteran additions might allow the youngster to take a redshirt season. Regardless, Rancik for the time being is focused on early workouts while attempting to add bulk to his 210-pound frame.

“Colorado, the culture they have here and it’s kind of a family-based program,” Rancik said. “The coaches have a very good relationship with the players. I trusted the coaches really well. My playing style really fits with the way Colorado plays. Especially now with Tristan leaving, that’s kind of the mold of the player that I fit in. That’s who they recruited me to come and replace for, and I really liked the way they used Tristan in their offense, kind of a player that played all over the court and could do everything. That’s how I want to be used and that’s what fits my skill-set.”

Numbers game

Rancik will wear No. 7, as the Buffs this week announced the jersey numbers for the 2024-25 newcomers, including Rancik’s freshmen classmates Crawford (No. 42) and Kossaras (No. 15). Graduate transfers Jakimovski (No. 23), Malone (No. 50) and Baskin (No. 6) also made their jersey selections, while Dak will shift to No. 8.

Read More

Leave a Reply