Friday, August 19, 2011

Northern Colorado's Recruiting Class

Obviously, Northern Colorado is coming off of its best season in school history. After a slow start (4-7), Bears recovered to win the Big Sky regular season and conference title, clinching a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

Oh yeah, this was only 4 years removed from their first season as a Division 1 program, when they went 4-24.

How do they top that? Well, it will start with BJ Hill's first recruiting class, a 5 man group that looks solid on paper. According to Coach Hill:

“In terms of talent, upside and potential and character, as a group, this is the best class we’ve signed in the five years I’ve been here -- there’s no doubt,” Hill said of his first class as Northern Colorado head coach. “I love what each brings to the table, in terms of what they eventually can be. This is a class that two or three years from now, we’re all going to be really excited about.”
Let's take a look at them.

Arguably the best is forward Brendan Keane, who is 6'9'' and a very skilled forward. He has a solid body, and should be ready to play physically right away. He has some solid post moves, and is very good fundamentally. He should have success with the Bears, and will be in the mix immediately for playing time.

Another solid player is Tim Huskission, a 6'5'' forward out of Missouri, who committed to UNC after his junior season. He is the most athletic player of the recruiting class, which helps him on both ends of the court. It is easy to envision him getting some run early on in his career also.

Aaron Hawk-Harris is the only JUCO player in the group, so you have to think he will be counted on to play right away (or else they wouldn't have brought him in). He is a combo guard at 6'4''. At the JUCO level last year he averaged 6.5 PPG, about 3 RPG and 2 APG. Hill says he brings intangibles and toughness, but I won't likely see starter's minutes with some of the soon-to-be sophomores and other incoming freshmen at the guard spots.

Dylan Elias is a 6-foot PG out of Texas, who comes out of the same program that current Bear Paul Garnica came from. He has been committed to the program for awhile, and should be a solid contributor to the program, though it looks tough for him to get a lot of minutes this year.

James Davis Jr. is the last member of the class, a 6'3'' shooting guard from California. He is an excellent scorer (almost 22 PPG as a junior), that could have the ability to play both guard spots, though he will primarily play off the ball. He has a chance to be a big-time scorer for the Bears.

Who do you guys see as the best of the class? Who will contribute right away?

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