It's no secret that CU is now a hoops name to be reckoned with. Every aspect of the program is on the rise, from on-court production, to the recruiting trail. It's a perfect storm of the right coach seizing upon a conference switch and an upsurge in talent, money, and facilities. Recruits who, in past years, wouldn't have given the program the time of day, are suddenly returning phone calls, and scheduling visits.
Case-in-point, next month Coach Boyle and staff will be hosting 5-star super prospect Jabari Bird. The 6-6 swing guard from NorCal is everything that you look for in an ideal swing-man: height, speed, scoring ability. He "may have the most upside of any wing-type out west," and has emerged as one of the premier recruits on the Left Coast
To even be in the running (reportedly in his final 4) for such a high-profile talent is a testament to how far the program has come over the past few years. Bird would certainly be a difference maker the second he slips on the Black and Gold.
The reported pitch is, "... he (Bird) is the missing piece to the puzzle and potentially the program's next lottery pick." I think the biggest key to that pitch is that it's referencing the "next" lottery pick, rather than the first in a generation. With the NBA matriculation of Alec Burks, and the future prospects of players like Andre Roberson and Josh Scott, Coach Boyle can easily point to a pipeline carrying talent from Boulder to the NBA. Come here, and you too can land in the Association.
|Could Bird be the next CU superstar? From: Rivals.com|
Tad Boyle, it pains me to say, is not perfect. Even in the magical 2012 recruiting class he had some high-profile misses, as he failed to secure a signature from 4-star point guards Ty Wallace, and stopped pursuing Dominic Artis. In the end, I doubt this recruiting war will end in anything other than similar disappointment for Buff Nation. Cal (again, fucking Cal) is the presumed front-runner for his services, and I'd put a lot of money on them winning this battle.
Still, it's pretty cool to say that a 5-star hoops recruit is checking out campus. Get a kid to Boulder, and he might just find something he likes...