Recruits impressed with CU basketball

Missing the NCAA Tournament and losing star player Alec Burks to the NBA may wind up helping Colorado's future.

As good as the 2010-11 season was for the University of Colorado men's basketball team, it did include a pair of disappointments:

1) The Buffs missed out on the NCAA Tournament.

2) Top player Alec Burks, just a sophomore, left school after the season for the NBA.

Those two disappointments, however, may actually wind up helping the Buffaloes in the future.

Head coach Tad Boyle and his staff have been hard at work on the recruiting trail this summer, and the feedback they have received has been very positive.

"Recruiting has gone well," Boyle said. "We've been very well received on the recruiting trail."

The positive vibes are, in some respects, because of CU's postseason exposure and Burks' stellar play.

When CU missed out on the NCAA Tourney, it was widely perceived that the Buffs were the biggest snub. They got a lot of air time in the couple of days after the bracket was announced. Then, the Buffs made a deep run into the National Invitational Tournament, which meant national television exposure for several games.

"People saw us, No. 1, with our TV exposure," Boyle aid. "That's what's got me excited with this new TV package with the Pac -12 (which was announced last week). People saw our team, they liked the way we played, they loved our style of play. They saw the Coors Events Center on television packed. It opened some eyes."

So did Burks. He wasn't highly recruited out of high school. Yet, in just two years in Boulder, he blossomed into an NBA lottery pick. Burks was selected 12th overall by the Utah Jazz last month. For top high school players, who often dream of getting to the NBA, that's a good sign that CU - and Boyle - produced a lottery pick.

"You have to use anything like that as a positive and we're doing that," Boyle said. "People enjoyed watching Alec play. They understand that he came here to help rebuild Colorado basketball and he was able to help start that process."

Boyle is on the lookout for more prep players that want Colorado to succeed. There is a good crop of incoming freshmen and two players from the class of 2012 have already committed: four-star recruit Wesley Gordon from Sierra High School in Colorado Springs and three-star recruit Josh Scott from Lewis-Palmer High School in Monument.

"We've got some good players in our state and we've got some good ones coming up," Boyle said.

The staff isn't limiting itself to the Centennial State, however. Three- and four-star recruits from California, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina and elsewhere have Colorado on the radar.

"Our job is one that we have to go outside our state borders to some degree," Boyle said. "That's where it gets challenging. You have to go in somebody's backyard and get somebody that is capable."

It's been a busy summer trying to woo that talent to Boulder.

"We've been all over," Boyle said. "We've been to all of the (major) tournaments. We've been everywhere. Our staff has worked extremely hard. You're on the road, you're watching kids, getting a feel for who you like, who likes you."

Boyle can't comment on specific recruits, but remains encouraged by what he's hearing from them.

As it turns out, missing the NCAA Tournament and losing Burks may have been disappointments to CU, but it has showed the nation that Colorado basketball is on the upswing.

"What helps recruiting is when you have success and people start recognizing your brand," Boyle said.

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