Buffs Sign Five

As expected, five players have signed, or will sign later today, Letters of Intent to play basketball at Colorado during the early signing period. Inside, a look at each of the five newest Buffaloes, including Brewster Academy's Xavier Silas (pictured).

Colorado head coach Patton said today he wouldn't comment on specific players in the class until Nov. 15. However, Patton told the Daily Camera recently, "I think, on paper, it's the best class we've ever had, and it's not finished."

The Buffs have eight scholarships to give for the 2006 class. They will use five during the early signing period, which runs today through Nov. 16.

As of this afternoon, BSN confirmed with the following players that they had either signed and faxed their LOIs this morning, or were planning to this afternoon (in Sean Kowal's case). Jeremy Williams' coach Keelon Lawson said Williams signed his letter, but Hamilton High School will hold a public signing ceremony on Tuesday before the team's first game.

Patton will hold a press briefing Nov. 15 to speak about the class.

Until then, here's a look at the players.

Sean Kowal, C, 6-10, 240 pounds
De Smet Jesuit High School, St. Louis, Mo.
Reached at his home in St. Louis this afternoon, Kowal's father said Sean would sign his Letter of Intent to play at CU this afternoon during a ceremony at De Smet. He is the only true post player to sign with the Buffs in the early signing period.

De Smet HS Coach Bob Steiner: "His size is legitimate and he can run and catch and jump. He's not a stiff. I would describe him as very athletic for a guy his size. He's very conscientious and wants to be good."

NOTES: Kowal has grown nine inches since his freshman year, according to his coach, so he was under the radar until recently. CU assistant Paul Graham visited De Smet in October, watched Kowal play a pickup game for half and hour and offered him on the spot.

Xavier Silas, G, 6-5, 205
Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H.
Silas is a throwback player who doesn't need to stay behind the arc or play above the rim to affect the game. He'll compete on the wing at Colorado.

Brewster Academy Coach Jason Smith: "Xavier has a very high basketball IQ. What separates him probably from his peers is his mid-range game."

Silas: "(Colorado has) everything I'm looking for. It has the teaching coach, a strong team and the opportunity to do good in the Big 12."

Notes: Silas graduated from Stephen F. Austin High in Austin, Texas, last spring, but decided to attend a year of prep school because of his age (he won't turn 18 until January). He hung out with Richard Roby during his official visit in October. His father, James Silas, was a guard for the San Antonio Spurs.

Dwight Thorne, PG, 6-3, 180
Martin High School, Arlington, Texas
Thorne is the main player for Martin this season. He played the two-guard prior to last season, but moved the point as a junior, the position he'll play at Colorado.

Martin HS Coach Jeff Plemons: "He's just one of those kids that has just gotten better each and every year that he's been in high school. He's an excellent, excellent jump shooter. Very good free-throw shooter. Just a smart basketball player."

Thorne: "(The Big 12) is a bigtime conference. And (CU) is a program that with the recruiting that they're doing, it's on the rise. I just feel like I can help that."

Notes: Thorne and fellow CU recruit Dale Vanwright have played against each other at summer camps over the years. Thorne called Vanwright "a fierce competitor. He's a big guy. He'll get things done."

Dale Vanwright, G, 6-6, 195
Bellaire High School, Bellaire, Texas
Vanwright plays inside and outside for Bellaire. They will experiment using him as a point forward this season. He is expected to be a 2 or 3 at Colorado.

Bellaire HS Coach Bruce Glover: "We call him hard to guard because he's versatile."

Vanwright: "I got along with the coaches and the whole staff (at Colorado). My parents liked it. I just thought it was a good fit for me."

Notes: Vanwright comes from the same school that produced John Lucas and Emeka Okafor in recent years.

Jeremy Williams, F, 6-7 1/2, 215
Hamilton High School, Memphis, Tenn.
Williams plays both the small and power forward at Hamilton.

Hamilton HS Coach Keelon Lawson: "He's a finesse player. He has an outside game, he can shoot well from the perimeter, and he can post inside."

Notes: Williams will have some hometown support in Boulder as CU director of operations, and former Buffalo player Will Smith graduated from Hamilton High, as did Ricardo Patton's wife, Jennifer. CU assistant John Anderson coached at cross-town rival Hillcrest until he was hired at CU before this season and recruited Williams. Williams will team up with former foe, Calvin Williams (no relation), who played for Anderson at Hillcrest.

What's Next?: CU now has three scholarships to give, but one will likely go to Ohio State transfer Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, who is practicing with the team this year while he sits out a mandatory transfer season. Patton has said if Jackson-Wilson were available, he would be a starter on this year's team.

The other two will likely be used for big men, whether they come from the junior college, high school or from another four-year university in a transfer situation.

2006 Early Roster (scholarship players only)
Dominique Coleman, PG
Marcus Hall, G
Sean Kowal, C
Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, F
Marcus King-Stockton, C/F
Richard Roby, G
Xavier Silas, G
Dale Vanwright, G-F
Dwight Thorne, PG
Calvin Williams, F
Jeremy Williams, F


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