As the Colorado Buffaloes basketball team enter their fifth season under head coach Tad Boyle, the Buffs look to continue to build momentum towards being a national basketball power. Boyle has elevated the Buffs on to the national radar with three successful recruiting class, including players the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, Askia Booker, Xavier Johnson, and Josh Scott just to name a few. However, this year’s recruiting class has not generated as much hype compared to the hype of the past three classes. But, that in no way means the 2014-15 class is weak what so ever. The Buffs add Colorado native Dominique Collier, big man Tory Miller, and promising walk-on Josh Repine to an already solid and improving CU roster. Each player brings a set of skills that the Buffs need.
The biggest star of the 2014 recruiting class is point guard Dominique Collier. Born and raised in Colorado, Collier played for the Denver East High School. Even as a freshman, he was on the national radar with his amazing handle and incredible playmaking skills. He earned the Colorado Basketball Gatorade Player of the year in his junior season and two back to back Mr. Basketball Colorado awards for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Collier took the Angles to the CHSAA 5A playoffs in all four season at Denver East, which includes two back to back championship appearances,. After coming up short in his junior season in the 5A State Championship, Collier, alongside teammate and Creighton recruit Ronnie Harrell, led Denver East on an unstoppable campaign to win the 5A championship this season. In the process, Collier demonstrated why he was the best high school player in the state of Colorado by averaging 23.4 points per game, 3.7 assists per game, and 3.5 steals per game. Dominique committed to the Buffs on May 5th, 2013, making him the first player to sign to CU from a Denver City High School since Chauncey Billups. This year, Collier will look to help fill the void in the point guard position left by Spencer Dinwiddie. Dom possesses a special ability, he can elevate the play of all those on the court around him. Collier’s ability to drive and finish at the hole is his best strength. Not mention he has a solid outside shot, averaging 57% from the field and 36% beyond the arc. He will help improve the Buffs defensively as well with his talent to steal the ball. Collier must put on muscle if he wants any chance to compete in the Pac-12 this year. At only 160 lbs, he will have trouble driving on the stronger Pac-12 point guards. But regardless of his weight, Dominique Collier will be an incredible addition to the Buffaloes immediately and has potential to be a star in the next few years.
Next on the list is Tory Miller. The 6’8” big man comes all the way from New Hampton School in New Hampshire. Just like Collier, Tory Miller exploded on to the college recruiting scene, literally and metaphorically, with his emphatic dunk during the 2013 National Prep Showcase. (See this dunk here) Miller was an important piece for his basketball team this past season. As the center, Miller gave the New Hampton Huskies a dominant inside presence. He has a very solid all around post game. Miller’s best asset though, has to his vertical. Although he is only 6’8” in the post, he makes up for his deficit in height with a surplus in elevation. In the 2014 state championship game, Miller laid a powerful dunk on the best team in the state of New Hampshire. (See that dunk here) Tory also has a knack for snatching rebounds and blocking shots. He is a great protector of the rim and gives his opponents only one chance to shoot, as he will grab any miss coming off the rim. Miller also has a decent short range jumper from the corner, which will prove to be very useful in the coming seasons. The Buffs add another very solid big man to a good rotation. Miller will help add height to roster and will prove to be very valuable asset. Now with three solid big men, Colorado can run a Josh Scott, Wesley Gordon, and Tory Miller in a pair and rotate the third player when one of the two gets tired. This sequence will prevent the Buffs big men from getting fatigued and allow them to perform better late in the game. Now with three true big men, Dustin Thomas will be able to move outside more and take advantage of his pure shooting ability. Tory Miller is another recruit who has star potential in the next couple years. He presence will instantly be felt on both sides of the basketball.
Finally, we have walk-on shooting guard Josh Repine. A Colorado native, Josh played for Kent Denver High School. After graduating he went to New Hampton School as well and took a year playing for the prep school. While at New Hampton he was a teammate of fellow recruit Tory Miller. Usually, Repine was a role player for New Hampton. But at Kent Denver, Repine was a star and led his team to win 2013 3A State Championship. Repine established himself as a strong shooter. He averaged 71% from the field and shot 51% from the three point line. One asset Repine possesses that CU desperately needs in the ability to shoot from deep. If he can continue to improve his overall, Repine will be a key player in the coming years for the Buffaloes. His ability to stick from deep will help open up the court for the rest of the team, and give the Buffs another talent that will make them even harder to defend. Repine constantly looks to improve his game and can see his long term plan, which adds much more promise to the freshman walk-on. In a recent interview with the Daily Camera Repine said, “I understand my opportunities might be limited, but the nice thing I have is I’m only a freshman. So, I still have years to grow.” Josh Repine, as long as he continues to work and improve, will be a player in the coming years that will make other college basketball coaches say, “How did we not see this guy?”
Despite the lack of hype for this recruiting class, the Buffs will continue build their way to a nationally recognized team. Collier will help fill the hole left by Dinwiddie, Miller will add depth and strength to the big men of CU, and Repine will be key shooter for the Buffs quite soon. Hype is not of importance when it comes to recruiting. All that matter is if the recruits can play, and all of Buff’s recruits can play, play very well for that matter.
-Trevor Simmons (@CUBuffsBBall)