Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Josh Fortune is a Buff!

The news broke quickly yesterday afternoon: the herd is getting larger.  As CBS's Jon Rothstein first reported, Coach Boyle has decided to spend the open scholarship left in the wake of Spencer Dinwiddie's jump to the professional ranks by bringing in former Providence Friar swingman Josh Fortune.
The newest Buff: Josh Fortune!
A 6-5 two-guard, originally from Kecoughtan High School in Virginia, Fortune played a key role on a Providence squad that finished 3rd in the Big East this past season.  He started all 38 games as a sophomore, averaging 8/3/2 in the process.  Key to CU's purposes going forward, he's known as a shooter (check out this video from the Big East Tournament), and improved greatly on the defensive end as the season wore on.  By the time February and March came around, he was one of PC's better players, averaging over 12 points per game in the lead up to the NCAA Tournament.  He looked to continue to be an important part of the Friar rotation moving forward, which is why his decision to transfer raised a few eyebrows in Rhode Island.

Fortune reportedly chose CU over offers from other high major schools like Cal, Purdue, Minnesota, and Virginia.  Despite early rumors that he was interested in playing closer to home, it looks like Josh was particularly keen on moving for "professional reasons."  To that end, Fortune's mother told's Ryan Koenigsberg that her son was especially impressed with Colorado's recent reputation of developing guards. Certainly, with Coach Boyle's guard-oriented system, and an ongoing need for perimeter scoring, a player of Fortune's mold has a golden opportunity to thrive in Boulder.

Josh's message for the fanbase is "get ready, because I'm coming," but BuffNation won't see immediate dividends from this addition.  As a traditional transfer, Fortune will have to sit out the coming season due to NCAA rules. After that, however, the young guard will have two years of remaining eligibility. This is the long-term addition that Coach Boyle has always stressed that he's looking for, and it marks an important step in future roster construction.  With Askia Booker's graduation only a season away, look for the Virginia native to fill that soon-to-be-vacated shooter's role.
Uh oh, 3-goggles.
In the mean time, Fortune gets to play the Carlon Brown role from 2010-11 - back before the former guard earned his place in CU lore. Brown helped that famous Burks-Higgins-Relphorde-Knutson team excel through a strong work ethic in practice, and it paved the way for even greater success the following season when Carlon took the court. In that vein, I expect that Josh will be a behind-the-scenes practice dynamo who can help the roster by making his presence felt on the practice squad.  By the time he finally takes the court in 2015, he will already have made an impact on the roster, and be in a position to play a key role in the continued success of Colorado Basketball.

Welcome to Boulder, Josh!  

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