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Colorado basketball signs Serbian hooper

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The tall point guard is a late addition to the 2017 class.

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament - Colorado vs Arizona Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Death, taxes, and tall Tad Boyle point guards. It is a fact of life. When Tad Boyle gets to choose, he’ll choose height every time. Well, it seems like Tad got his wish today as the Buffs added a late signee to the 2017 class with Lazar Nikolic, a Serbian point guard. Here’s the release from the program:

Lazar Nikolic has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball and continue his education at the University of Colorado, head coach Tad Boyle announced on Wednesday.

Nikolic is a 6-foot-6-inch guard from Belgrade, Serbia. He is the 15th international basketball player for the Buffaloes since the mid-1950’s and the seventh in the Boyle era.

“Lazar is a big guard with a very good feel for the game,” Boyle said. “His size and skill allow him to be very good playing in a pick and roll situation. He can make plays for himself and for others. Additionally, he is a very good rebounder.”

Nikolic is currently playing for Rome’s Stella Azzurra Academy in the Series B Italian League. Coached by Germano D’Arcangeli, Nikolic leads Stella Azzurra in assists at 4.1 per game while averaging 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds in 25 games this season. He is second on the team in rebounding and free throws made (95) and third in scoring.

On the international stage, Nikolic played for Serbia’s U18 National Team that placed 10th at the 2016 European Championships, Division A. He also played on Serbia’s U16 National Team in 2014.

Nikolic also visited Georgia Tech and had interest from UCLA and Arizona State, among many others.

He is an international guard with experience at a high level already, something that Boyle has put a premium on this offseason. With four departing guards, the program needed someone who can make an impact right away, and Nikolic figures to be that player. His game is already polished and he is conditioned to handle the rigors of high level basketball. Here is a little of his game:

His size really lets him get creative with his passing lanes, and as the press release said, he is a very nice pick-and-roll player. His jumper looks smooth, and his length allows him some recovery time on defense. His passes, already dubbed Lazarbeams by me, are precise and direct, and the ball rarely sticks to his hands.

He is a prep recruit, so he comes to Boulder with four years of eligibility remaining.

Welcome, Lazar!