Kelley Chose Buffs Over Two Hoops Powers

The spring signing period is a time for finding diamonds in the rough. It sounds as though the Buffs went to Diamond High in Pomona, Calif., and did just that when they signed Ryan Kelley recently.

San Diego Magic AAU coach Kenny Roy says Ryan Kelley, the 6-4 combo guard CU signed in recent days, went under the radar for a while as far as basketball recruiting. But he was showing up on teams' screen of late.

Kelley had official visits set to perennial basketball powers Gonzaga and Indiana this month. That was before he visited Boulder last week and decided he'd seen all he wanted to see.

"I know Coach Bzdelik is a great coach," Kelley told BSN Tuesday. "And I was real comfortable with the environment. I just decided to commit to them."

Roy coached Kelley for two summers on the Magic AAU team. Roy is also head coach at San Diego High School, where he tutors one of the nation's most highly touted underclassmen in the country, Jeremy Tyler. Roy says the Buffs are getting a player with good leadership skills and great upside in Ryan Kelley.

"He's real gutsy, he doesn't back down," Roy says. "He has tremendous heart and tremendous skill. There's just tremendous upside with that kid."

CU has at least two more scholarships available to give in the spring signing period, which ends May 21. But don't be surprised if they bank them for next year, as most legitimate Big 12 caliber prospects have already signed letters of intent.

Kelley averaged more than 16 points a game his senior year at Diamond Ranch High in Pomona, Calif., in the eastern part of Los Angeles County. Kelley is the nephew of Vince Kelley, who played at Colorado from 1981-84. Vince Kelley is fifth on CU's career rebounding list, and 17th on CU's career scoring list.

"I talk to him every day," Ryan said of his uncle. "He gives me tips on my game and what I need to work on. He's a major part of my basketball life."

Ryan Kelley was a floor leader for Diamond Ranch and for the Magic.

"My main thing is defense and leadership on the floor," he said. "I like to be an extension of the coach out there."

He's also good in the classroom. Roy characterized Kelley as a coach's dream.

"You won't have any problems out of that kid," Roy said. "He's the kind of player that every coach wants on their basketball team. He exemplifies student athlete. They're getting a class act with that kid."

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