Per Tad Boyle tradition, the Colorado Buffaloes have landed the top in-state recruit. On Friday afternoon, Dominique “Nique” Clifford committed to the Buffs.
Clifford is the 83rd-rated recruit in the nation, according to 247 Sports. The Vanguard HS (Colorado Springs) product is a natural point guard who has recently exploded in height and reputation. He’s grown to 6’5 and could still be growing, and that additional height combined with fluid athleticism means he’s a nightmare on both ends of the floor.
We’ve seen highly touted guards dominate Colorado basketball and disappoint at the next level, but he’s not length, athleticism and a high-level feel for the game. Watching his highlights, it’s almost comical how much better he is than everyone on the floor. He should step in immediately at CU. Late bloomers tend to keep improving, too, so this is only the beginning of what he can do as a two-way playmaker.
Clifford is part of a 2020 recruiting class that could be the next great class for the Buffs. Joining him is fellow top-100 point guard Keeshawn Barthelemy (Toronto, Canada), who is technically part of the 2019 class, but is redshirting this season. Those two on their own appear to be the next generation of high-level guards at CU. If they develop into NBA caliber guards, per Tad Boyle tradition, the Buffs will be set for a long time, as they will play behind and later succeed McKinley Wright and Daylen Kountz.
The Buffs also have Luke O’Brien in this recruiting class. He’s a sweet shooting guard from Columbine H.S. in Littleton, and though he’s not quite a blue chip, he should be a valuable role player at the very least. And if Boyle and Anthony Coleman have any magic left, watch out for Tari Eason (Federal Way, Washington). He’s a four-star power forward who the Buffs are set on bringing in to round out a star-studded recruiting class.