Signing Day Q&A with Tad Boyle

The signing of a five member recruiting class ranked No. 18 nationally by Scout.com on Wednesday was nothing short of historic for Colorado coach Tad Boyle. It's another huge step in Boyle's effort to build the CU program into a perennial contender in the Pac-12 Conference and regular participant in the NCAA Tournament. Boyle talked with reporters Wednesday morning.

How did you do this?

Tad Boyle "A lot of hard work. Our coaches worked hard. It's a team effort. I think it comes down to, recruiting is like building relationships, and obviously we're excited about having three Colorado kids in the class, but having Xavier Johnson and Chris Jenkins and adding them to it, we needed a good class to kind of get some footing. We lose four seniors this year. We lost five seniors last year and Alec Burks. We've lost 11 players in the last two years."

You have to understand this is an historic class just based on what everybody thinks of them coming in?

TB: "You're right. It is. I'm proud of that and I'm proud of our staff and I'm proud for our players, but we'll find out how good this class is three or four years from now. That's when we'll know. And that's true in any year in recruiting. So as much as I want to be excited about the class I've got to reserve judgment just like everybody else. We'll tell these kids when they get here next fall, just like we told Spencer (Diwiddie) and Askia (Booker) this year. 'Hey, what you've done in high school and the credentials you bring here are great and we're excited for that and proud of that, but we're at square one now.'"

I'm sure a lot of former coaches here, your predecessors, would say they worked hard to bring in classes like this, too. What made the difference for you and your staff?

TB: "I think belief that Colorado basketball could be special. The inherent belief to our core. This is a special place. Why wouldn't anyone want to come play here? That's the attitude we have. It doesn't matter what living room we go into. It doesn't matter who else is recruiting the kid. Why wouldn't you want to come play basketball at the University of Colorado. That's our approach. That's our attitude. And if you don't, that's OK, but we're going to get kids that do. We're going to get talented kids that do and we've done that."

Did you have any reservations when you took this job about being able to go out and sell Colorado and put together a class like this?

TB: "I didn't because I'm a Colorado guy and I know how special this place is. I have perspective at being at different parts of the country. I coached at Oregon. I coached at Tennessee. I coached at Wichita State. I know what Colorado can be. We know what it can be. Because of that, you've got to believe. If you don't believe, they're not going to believe."

How rare is it do you think going forward to have three Pac-12 caliber players from Colorado? How often is that going to happen?

TB: "My thing it this. What I've told our staff is, 'Look, part of our job is to make sure we don't sign bad players.' If you don't sign bad players, they may not be as good as you think they are, but don't sign bad ones. If we can stay away from doing that, I think our program is going to get better. I think better players want to play with better players. Having the recruiting class we had last year helped out recruiting class this year. This recruiting class is going to help us as we go forward because good players want to play with good players. But you've got to believe because if you don't believe, nobody will."

So is high school basketball in Colorado getting better?

TB: "It's cyclical, it's a cyclical state. It has been. I'm not saying it always will be, but it has been cyclical and continues to be cyclical, but, yeah, these three they can help us win championships, which what we're going to try to do."

Chris Jenkins if from outside the footprint that you guys talked about with Texas, California and Colorado. What was it like selling an upper-midwestern kid on Colorado?

TB: "The thing that makes Chris special is the fact that he wants to come to Colorado and prove some people wrong. I think Chris is going to end up being a great evaluation or maybe not, the jury is out. But we think he's got everything it takes to be a big time player here, and he thinks that, too. You put those two things together and a lot of good things can happen.

Why was he overlooked by some?

TB: "I don't know. A lot of people flirted with Chris. You'd have to ask those schools. I don't know. He was on Michigan's campus. He was on Michigan State's campus. It's not like he was an unknown. We believed in him. I think sometimes you've got to believe in them just like they have to believe in you, and if you don't believe in them, then you shouldn't recruit them."

Everybody wants to know about Josh Scott.

TB: "Josh is as good as he wants to be. The rate of his development as a player has been pretty phenomenal from last year to this year, and if it continues from this year to next year, he's going to play a lot early. I didn't mention it with the video, but if you watch the video, around the basket you would think he's left-handed. He's almost ambidextrous from eight feet on in. He can finish with his right, but he would almost rather finish with his left. I think his ability to finish with both hands around the basket makes him pretty special. It's huge and it's something you necessarily can't coach. He's also shooting the ball better. One game he had 18 of 19 from the free throw line. So he's a good free throw shooter. His perimeter game, he puts the ball on the floor well for a guy that is 6-9. There is a lot of things to like about Josh Scott."

Do you see him as a power forward or a center?

TB: "He's a big. He's a basketball player, like the other four guys."

What does he have to work on?

TB: "Strength. He's going to have to bang and he's going to have to guard post guys. So he's going to get bigger and stronger and play against the grown men he's going to go up against as a freshman or a sophomore. I'd say Chris Jenkins, Wesley Gordon and Josh Scott we would say that for all three of those guys. Xavier Johnson, physically I think his body is Division I ready right now and so is Xavier Talton's."

You've talked about foundation with Gordon and Scott in the front court. How big is that when you're building a program?

TB: "It's huge, especially big guys. They're the hardest to get. It's a supply demand issue with bigs. There is more 6-foot to 6-4 guards out there than there are 6-7 to 6-11 big guys. So when you've got to big guys and they're in your state and they're skilled. You've got to get them. These guys were must-gets for us I think. We can't let guys slip out of this state. It gets back to evaluation that I talked about. We have to evaluate well."

It was probably five or six years ago now, but there was a year when the University of Colorado on this day announced its by having six or seven of us into the coach's office. How does having an event like the luncheon today as well as the new practice facility and all the other stuff going on around this program help you land a class like this?

TB: "It's incredible the energy that it creates the excitement that it creates. My hat goes off to Mike Bohn and his staff for coming up with this idea. This was his idea. This wasn't my idea. I don't think it was coach Lappe's or coach Kritza's idea. This was Mike Bohn's idea. So my hat goes off to him and his staff for putting it together for getting the people here to show up. It's what this place can be. It's not what it was maybe in recent years."


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