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Dominique Clifford, Luke O’Brien sign with Colorado Buffaloes

The Colorado guards make it official.

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Buffaloes are on the upswing and they keep that momentum for a long time coming. On Tuesday, they made official two signings in the 2020 recruiting class, Colorado high schoolers Dominique “Nique” Clifford and Luke O’Brien.

Clifford comes from Vanguard High School in Colorado Springs. He’s a late bloomer who only recently blew up, both in terms of scholarship offers and height. Clifford is the 88th-rated recruit in the nation. He’s 6’5 (and growing) with the game of guard and the length of a wing, which makes him impossible to guard in Colorado competition. In addition to his fluid athleticism and terrific length, he has a strong feel for the game, which shows up in his playmaking ability on both sides of the floor. It’s not hard to project his development continuing at Colorado as he has the potential to be a dynamic two-way force.

O’Brien is another local recruit from Columbine High School in Littleton. He’s a solid shooter who will likely develop into a specialist. He’s 6’6 and has a quick and clean release, consistent footwork and has a shooter’s mentality. (He’s listed at 6’6, but he says he’s 6’8 because shooters shoot.) It’s hard to project him on defense because he doesn’t have outstanding length or athleticism. He has other skills to his game, but it’s easier to project as a shooting specialist who can then surprise people with those other skills.

Clifford committed to CU in Septmber and O’Brien committed back in November 2018. They join point guard Keeshawn Barthelemy, the top-100 recruit who reclassfied to the 2019 recruiting class in order to redshirt at CU this season. With those three, plus perhaps another commit (hopefully forward Tari Eason), the Buffs have a strong guard-heavy class that should sustain them for the next few seasons.

The Buffaloes have also recently secured the committment of Lawson Lovering, a three-star big man from Cheyenne, Wyoming. He’s part of the 2021 recruiting class and looks to be a stud. Expect Tad Boyle and his staff to target more wings and bigs after bringing in Barthelemy and Clifford.