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Boyle Signs Talented Quartet To NLI

Nov 11, 2020

BOULDER – Quincy Allen, Julian Hammond III, Lawson Lovering and Javon Ruffin have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball and continue their education at the University of Colorado in 2021-22 head coach Tad Boyle announced on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA Early Signing Period.

The class includes a pair of Top 100 four-star recruits in Allen and Lovering and as a whole has been widely acclaimed during the early period. has Colorado's 2021 class ranked No. 16 nationally while Rivals has the Buffaloes at No. 19.

But more importantly, it's back-to-back solid recruiting classes for Boyle and his staff. Five freshmen - four from a 2020 class, ranked No. 32 by Rivals and No. 41 by 247Sports -  could make an impact this season which is scheduled to tip off in two weeks.

"It's an exciting class, especially when you add that group of guys to the freshmen that we have in the program right now," Boyle said. "That is a core group of nine guys that are going to take this program, to hopefully the next level."

Quincy Allen, 6-7, 190, G/F, Silver Spring, Md. (Maret School)
Allen is 49th on the ESPN 100 national list and checks in at No. 68 via Rivals and No. 71 in the 247Sports composite rankings. He plays in the Mid-Atlantic Conference, regarded as one of the top private school leagues in the country.

Allen, who entertained offers from schools such as Louisville, Michigan and Miami, fell in love with Colorado during an official visit to Boulder last February when the Buffaloes had a sold-out CU Events Center against UCLA.

Allen's junior season was shortened by injury, but he is now 100 percent. He recently helped Maret to a 7-3 record during an abbreviated fall season. Maret will resume practice in late December and is slated for a 15-game schedule beginning Jan. 12.

Quincy Allen:
"I felt really welcome when I came out there, not from just a basketball standpoint but everyone in the city of Boulder and all the people I met on campus. And, yeah, I was really attracted by the coaching staff, they welcomed me and made me feel like I was part of the team. I just love coach Boyle's philosophy like philosophy. I fell his philosophy really compliments my game."

Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle:
"Quincy can guard and play multiple positions. He's got as much upside as any player I think that we've ever signed at Colorado, in terms of his length, athleticism and skill set. We don't recruit the (Washington) DC area day in and day out, but we made a decision as a staff to kind of swing for the fences and get out of our comfort zone recruiting wise with three to four kids in the junior class and he was one of them."

"We got him to come in, take an official visit last February, when we played UCLA. And even though we didn't win that game, our building was electric that night. Our players fought hard. We didn't win but he had a great, great experience and really, I think, fell in love with what Colorado basketball is all about, which is a full CU Events Center, and rabid fan base and great students section, and a group great young men. He and his mom visited, and he would not be a Buffalo if it weren't for that new rule of juniors being able to visit officially because he would have never been here he would have never experienced it. We were very fortunate, happy and excited that Quincy is going to be a Buffalo."

Chuck Driesell, Maret School Head Coach:
"He has the physical attributes that a player at his position needs. He's long, he's athletic, he's got good hands. He runs, he moves, he's got great agility. He's just your prototypical long, athletic kid that I love coaching and seeing develop into a player. He's good at everything he can handle the ball, he can shoot the ball. He can dribble the ball, he can get to the rim. He can go above the rim and dunk he can rebound offensively and defensively. He's just a really good solid all around basketball player with, a tremendous upside because every year he's gotten a little bit better and that's exciting to see. He's just scratching the surface of his full potential."
Julian Hammond III, 6-2, 180, G, Denver, Colo. (Cherry Creek)
Hammond averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists as a junior, leading the Centennial League in scoring and helping Cherry Creek to a No. 4 seed at the state tournament. 247Sports lists him as the top player in the state of Colorado and the 30th best combo guard in the nation.

Hammond is the latest in a line of Colorado's top prep basketball players staying home - a Boyle-era recruiting staple. He's a two-sport standout, earning All-State honors in both football and basketball.

A quarterback on the gridiron, Hammond let the Bruins to the 2019 Class 5A state championship and is hoping for another this fall. His grandfather, Julian Hammond, played for the Denver Rockets of the ABA from 1967-72. The honor of playing for CU as a Colorado kid, family, and staying close to home, played a role in his decision.

Julian Hammond III:
"That was one of the things that made Colorado so appealing. It's where I've always wanted to go and it's just nice knowing that it's 30-35 minutes from my house so if my family want to come up and watch me, they always can."

Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle:
He's a young man who's comes from a great basketball family and a very good player in his own right. And the thing about Julian that I love is, he's obviously a great high school football player. He's got one state championship under his belt and I know they're shooting for another one here this year. He's playing the quarterback position in football; obviously shows he's got leadership. You have to have a level of toughness to play the sport of football. We feel like he's got that but as a basketball player in his own right. He's a guy that can shoot it can handle it. And he's got great anticipation skills.  I think he's going to be a very good defender before it's all said and done as well."

Kent Dertinger, Cherry Creek Head Coach:
"Julian is one of the best athletes in the state.  He prepares himself on a daily basis to perform to the best of his ability.  He is a great teammate, very easy to coach, and is a quiet leader.  His teammates gravitate towards him because he is a fierce competitor and wants the ball in his hands during crunch time.  No moment has proven to be too big for this young man.  He is one of the best pure scorers that has come through Cherry Creek."  

Lawson Lovering, 7-0, 220, C, Cheyenne, Wyo. (Central)
A two-time Wyoming Class 4A All-State selection, Lovering averaged 13.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks as a junior. He shot a state-best 69 percent from the field and was named the 2020 East Conference Co-Player of the Year as Cheyenne Central finished the season at 20-3 overall.

Lovering is a consensus four-star prospect, coming in at 57th in Rivals' national rankings and as the ninth-best center in the country. 247Sports has Lovering as Wyoming's top player and 46th in its own national rankings.

As a sophomore, Lovering averaged 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and shot 61 percent from the field.

Lawson Lovering:
"(Signing the NLI) is a weight off my shoulders. It's nice to finally sign and make it official. I work my butt off every day and I'm eager to come play. I think I'm a really skillful big, I move really well, which is going to help me play in the Pac-12."

Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle:
"Lawson is from Cheyenne, Wyoming, but I almost consider him a Colorado guy just because we've been recruiting him, like he's a Colorado guy for so long, and coach (Associate Head Coach Mike) Rohn did a really good job in the recruiting process. We've really followed him even starting back to his freshman and sophomore year in high school, and just watched him grow and develop. He's just one of those guys, you know that every time you go see him, he's getting better and better and better.

"I always say this with seven footers. The first question I asked myself, if we're recruiting a seven-footer is, 'would he be playing basketball, if he were six feet tall?' And if the answer is yes, you should probably recruit them, because they love the game, and if they love the game they're going to continue to get better at the game and work on their body and improve. If the answer is no, you probably shouldn't recruit them, because, yes they are seven feet tall, but they're only playing basketball because they're seven feet tall, or they're not playing because they love the game and Lawson loves the game. And it's evident in how hard he works, and, and the improvement he's made just in his high school career."
Tagg Lain, Cheyenne Central Head Coach
"He's really a determined and very competitive player so you know he's going to play until he drops. He is not going to take a play off for a second off when he's on the floor and he's a force on the defensive end. Probably as much as anything, what I've been impressed with is his ability to guard on the perimeter.  Especially in Wyoming where there's just not a lot of big men in some cases, he's had to go out and guard guys that are 6-3 ball handlers or whatever it may be. He's got the foot speed and kind of understands how to use his length and can go out and play on the perimeter really well."

Javon Ruffin, 6-5, 195, G, New Orleans, La. (PHHoenix Prep)
Ruffin averaged 22.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists as a junior for Isidore Newman High School in his hometown of New Orleans. He helped the Greenies to a district title and the semifinals of the Division III state semifinals.

An All-State selection by the Louisiana State Writers Association, Ruffin is playing his final high school season for PHHoenix Prep in Arizona. Ruffin is currently averaging around 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists on a squad with a 21-3 record that features eight future NCAA Division I players on its roster.

His father, Michael Ruffin is a Denver native and played nine seasons in the NBA for six different teams.

Javon Ruffin:
"I saw everything (in choosing Colorado). I feel like they have everything. It's a good school, I love the coaches after getting to know them. I haven't met a better coaching staff. And with the players that are there and the opportunities that will be opening up with some players leaving. It's just going to be the perfect situation. Going to college is a dream for every basketball player and being able to play in such a competitive league with a team that has a chance to go to the tournament every year. It's exciting."

Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle:
"Javon is another guy who I think the sky is the limit in terms of his development. He's a big guard that can play and guard multiple positions. We've had a lot of success with 6-5, 6-6, guards in our program and Javon is another one in that line. He's a guy that can get to the rim, get to the foul line, shoot the three, and I think he's got the ability to be a very good defender."

"His dad Michael was a heck of a player at Cherry Creek back in the day and went on to a great career at Tulsa and then a great NBA career. And I just remember the first conversation I had with Javon parents. I remember I was an assistant at Oregon when Michael was coming out of Cherry Creek and I did not pound on the table as an assistant to recruit him. And it was a big regret of mine because he turned out to be a great, great player. And I felt like he was going to be at the time, but I didn't pound the table and so now here I am some 20-plus years later, and I've got the ability to recruit his son. And we, we went all in from the very beginning on him."

John Ortega, PHHoenix Prep Head Coach
"He played with our U15 team because he lived out here in Phoenix when he was younger. I got a chance to coach him for four games in Vegas when he was a freshman before he moved out to New Orleans. To be honest, it's been one of the things I've wanted to do since he left is I wanted to coach that kid."

"He's a true combo guard. He can play on or off the ball. He's never sped up, never rushed. It's like having an extra coach on the floor. He's going to fill every stat line, he scores, he rebounds, gets assists, he defends the other team's top guards. It's what you expect out of a kid who grew up around the NBA with his dad. He just has a complete game."