What was already an impressive showing on the recruiting trail for CU basketball only got better as the Buffs grabbed the commitments of two more players for the 2012 class.
Sunday night, word began to leak out that Detroit swing-man Chris Jenkins had announced his attention to don the black-and-gold. Jenkins, who stands at a wiry 6-7, 190lbs, is known as a great outside shooter, and will probably be a long-term project for CU with a strong upside. While his shooting skills may be needed off the bench, his wiry frame will keep from from gobbling up too many minutes early.
Still, I like the pickup. Our typical recruiting grounds had been the Front Range and California, so a kid from Detroit expands the recruiting base nicely. Additionally, his height and athleticism compliment Coach Boyle's style, and lend to a high level of versatility when it comes time to play with the roster. If his shooting is as advertised, that height can make him a deadly addition to the roster. While he may not get many minutes right away, I can see Chis as being very valuable as an upperclassman. Additionally, I love the fact that Chris plans on studying Chemistry with an eye towards attending medical school.
Not 24 hours after Jenkins was listed as a Buff, the 2012 class was still getting stronger. Word leaked out last evening that highly touted Southern California small forward Xavier Johnson had accepted an invitation to become a Buff. Coach Boyle and staff had an in-home visit with him last evening, and, apparently, he liked what he heard. The 6-6 Johnson is a consensus 4-star recruit and is considered a top-100 player nationally.
A lefty, Johnson seems to be the real deal, a kid who has the athleticism, speed, and nose for the hoop that translates into a fantastic player. He's got a nice soft touch on an improving jumper that should allow Johnson to form a great 1-2 punch with fellow top-100 prospect Josh Scott. He's also known to have a great work ethic, and has shown the goods against elite talent, as can be seen here:
All told, CU now has 4 commitments, 2 of whom are top-100 players. With the early signing period just over a month away (November 9th), CU is mere days away from officially sending shock waves through the basketball world. Yet, recruiting isn't over. The Buffs are also rumored to be in the mix for yet another top-100 talent: Bakersfield's Tyrone Wallace.
It's not every year that CU lands a consensus top-100 player, let alone two (or possibly three). In fact, prior to the 2012 recruiting class, CU had yet to land one (although players like Chauncey Billups and David Harrison would've been at that level, had recruiting services been around back then.). These are heady days for CU basketball, and the future is as bright as I have ever dreamed it could be. I'm just happy to be along for the ride.
In summation, Tad Boyle is awesome.
ESPN's bottom line on Johnson - "Smooth wing that can score on the break and in the half court by getting to the rim and taking advantage of his size or showing off his nice middle game. Johnson finds a way to use his strengths to be productive. He must be more effective on the offensive glass. Due to his work ethic and physical attributes look for Johnson to climb the recruiting charts during the up and coming spring (2011) evaluation period."
On Jenkins - "He's been improving nicely over the past few years and should continue to do so. He needs to get stronger but he has terrific length for the small forward position. We've tabbed him as a mid-major prospect with room to grow."