Five Sign National Letters of Intent
BOULDER - University of Colorado men's basketball head coach Jeff Bzdelik announced Monday his first recruiting class with the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play basketball and continue their education at CU.
The five future Buffaloes that signed letters during the NCAA early signing period are Javonte Clanton, Austin Dufault, Trey Eckloff, Nate Tomlinson and Toby Veal.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the signing of these five young men," Bzdelik said. "All of them will have a major impact on the future of Colorado Basketball. This is a class filled with quality and depth."
Clanton, a 6-foot, 185-pound guard from Reynoldsburg, Ohio will be a junior-transfer from Blinn Community College (Brenham, Texas). Clanton was one of five candidates for the 20th annual Mr. Ohio Basketball as a senior at Reynoldsburg High School where he averaged 23.1 points and 6.0 assists per game as a senior.
"Javonte brings experience, toughness, and a high skill level to blend in well within the Colorado system," Bzdelik said of the former (AP) Ohio Central District Player of the Year.
Dufault, a 6-8, 210-pound, power forward from Killdeer, N.D. averaged 20 points and eight rebounds per game leading Killdeer High School to 19 wins as a junior. He is rated as a three-star athlete at ScoutHoops.com (33rd overall, power forward).
"Son of a coach, Austin brings a high school basketball IQ and a great shooting touch from long range," Bzdelik said. "His skill and 3.9 grade point average are a perfect fit for the University of Colorado."
Eckloff, a 6-9, 220-pound forward is from Englewood, Colo. Eckloff is three-star prospect by ScoutHoops.com as the 22nd rated center. He averaged eight points, six rebounds, and more than a block shot per game as a junior for Cherry Creek High School.
"Trey is a versatile, young big man who can pass, dribble, and shoot from long range," Bzdelik said. "Trey is also a perfect fit for the Colorado system, and he also excels in the classroom with a 3.9 GPA."
Tomlinson, a 6-2, 180-pound point-guard is from Lee Academy (Maine). The native Australian was a member of Australia's 19-and-under national team this past summer, and is three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com.
"Nate combines a high basketball IQ with great shooting and passing skills," Bzdelik said. "Both of his parents have a rich basketball background in Australia."
Veal is a 6-7, 210-pound power forward from Savannah, Ga., averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds as a junior at Johnson High School. Another three-star prospect by ScoutHoops.com, he is rated 86th of the top-100 Hoop Scoop prospects and the 32nd power forward overall.
"An explosive athletic rebounder and finisher around the rim," Bzdelik said. "Toby has the potential to be one of the premier rebounders and defenders in the Big 12."
With three scholarship seniors on the current roster, CU will have a youthful presence during the 2008-09 season with one senior (Jermyl Jackson-Wilson), three juniors (Xavier Silas, Dwight Thorne II, Jeremy Williams) and four sophomores (Casey Crawford, Cory Higgins, Levi Knutson, Caleb Patterson).
6-foot, 185, Guard
Reynoldsburg, Ohio (Reynoldsburg HS)
Blinn Community College (Brenham, Texas)
Averaged 23.1 points and 6.0 assists per game as a high school senior
Two-time first team Central District pick and was named Player of the Year in 2006...Named first team Associated Press Central District Player of the Year, Franklin County Mr. Basketball and was one of five candidates for the 20th annual Mr. Ohio Basketball.
6-8, 210, Power Forward
Killdeer, N.D. (Killdeer HS)
20 ppg., 8 rpg, as a junior; led team to 19 wins last year
Three-star (33rd overall, power forward) ScoutHoops.com
6-9, 220, Forward
Englewood, Colo. (Cherry Creek HS)
Averaged eight points, six rebounds, more than a block shot per game as a junior
AAU Team: Colorado Select
Three-star (22nd, Center) ScoutHoops.com
6-2, 180, point-guard
Lee Academy (Maine)
Member of Australia's 19-and-under national team this past summer
6-7, 210, power forward
Savannah, Ga. (Johnson HS)
Averaged 19 pts, 12 rpg. as a junior
AAU Team: Georgia Elite
Rated 86th of top-100 Hoop Scoop
Three-star (32nd overall power forward), ScoutHoops.com