With a trio of forwards forming the backbone of the 2012 class, 2013 has been built mostly on the perimeter. It's not going to make the national waves that last season's vaunted class did, but it's still a haul to be proud of, and one that should continue the process of building this program into a consistent winner.
There were some blue-chip misses out on the recruiting trail - especially Jabari Bird, who chose Cal over the Buffs, among others - but I'm satisfied with the group Coach Boyle has put together. Unlike last season, where Eli Stalzer became a surprise spring signing, the program is completely out of scholarships - in fact, CU oversigned by two, relying on post-season defections to create open spots - so this coaching staff can now devote all of it's recruiting attention to 2014.
Below is a quick break-down of the class, and how I see them contributing in the future.
Jaron Hopkins - SG - 6'5", 190, Mesa, AZ
Jaron is the big name of the class; CU had to out-pursue many Pac-12 rivals to get him. The #1 recruit from the state of Arizona, he's been consistently ranked in the top-150 players nationally, and is seen by most as a 4-star level prospect. Listed as a SG, he's versatile enough to play anywhere from 1-through-3. He's got an explosive first-step, and projects to be a monster in transition. He'll have to work on shooting consistency, especially at the free throw line, and he has a noted tendency to over-dribble, but he's an exciting athletic talent who could see good minutes his freshman year.
Tre'Shaun Fletcher (nee Lexing) - SF - 6'5", 195, Tacoma, WA
The lone signing day surprise wasn't the commit status of a recruit, but rather a name change. Back in September, recruiting junkies rejoiced over a commitment from Tre'Shaun Lexing. A few days ago, however, word came down that he is now a Fletcher. Fair enough.
The word almost everyone uses when describing Tre'Shaun is "upside." Luckily, the current state of the roster should allow the southpaw to mature a bit before he's relied upon. Strong in transition, most note that he is a good passer who does a great job distributing when his options are cut short. His jump-shot can get away from him, but it is improving.
Dustin Thomas - PF - 6'8", 210, Texarkana, TX
Potentially the most intriguing member of the 2013 class, Dustin comes to CU as a sleeper power forward prospect from Texas (so much of a sleeper, in fact, that I can't find any online video packages). The part of his game that grabs the most attention is his outside shot, as he hit 48% from three as a junior, but he can also rebound, grabbing 14 per game in his high school league. His stock rose sharply over the summer, and CU had to beat out old Big XII rivals Oklahoma and K-State for his services. Being from Texas and playing as a rangy "4," comparisons will quickly be made to Andre Roberson, but that's probably unfair. Still, BuffNation has gotten used to what a high-motor power forward from the Lone Star State can bring to the table.
Congrats to all three, and welcome to BuffNation!