With apologies to Kyra Sedgwick, this fall Tad Boyle is starring as The Closer.
After this week's "Friday Night Stampede" on Pearl Street, Colorado basketball received another verbal commitment when Tre'Shaun Lexing pledged his allegiance to the Buffs.
According to recruiting services, the 6-foot-5 wing from Tacoma, Wash., chose CU over Arizona State, UCLA and Washington State.
Lexing joins 6-5 guard Jaron Hopkins of Mesa, Ariz., and 6-8 forward Dustin Thomas of Texarkana, Texas, in the 2013 class.
Hopkins committed to CU after visiting campus and taking in the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver. Thomas committed after watching the Folsom Field opener against Sacramento State.
Lexing didn't even wait to see what the vibe was like for Saturday's Bruins-Buffs game.
Boyle isn't allowed to comment on the 2013 class until the players sign national letters-of-intent on Nov. 14. During a recent interview with the Camera, CU's third-year head coach talked about the important role football plays in luring hoops prospects to Boulder.
"Having a festive Saturday afternoon football atmosphere is contagious. The fans don't realize how great the atmosphere that they create is," Boyle said. "I love when Coors is packed with 11,000 people. But to me, you can't beat a Saturday afternoon college football game in the fall. That's what college is all about.
"I challenge our fans to continue that."
Boyle probably doesn't have to pay for a drink in Boulder these days if he doesn't want to. He received a standing ovation at the "Parade of Buffs" on Thursday night in Broomfield.
Increased interest in the program, led by the fervid C-Unit, has resulted in a midnight madness-style event scheduled for Oct. 12 at the Coors Events Center.
At the end of the Ricardo Patton era and beginning of the Jeff Bzdelik rebuilding job, fans weren't showing up for games, even when offered discounted or even free tickets.
Now they can't wait to watch the 2012-13 team's first practice.
Under Boyle, CU has won 48 games over the past two seasons with a run to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden and the unforgettable Pac-12 Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in March.
It wasn't always this fun for Boyle. He understands what it's like to go through the kind of madness Jon Embree is experiencing right now.
That's why Boyle reached out to the second-year football coach two weeks ago after the Buffs' embarrassing loss to Sacramento State.
"Jon doesn't need my advice. I'm not a football coach and would never pretend to be," Boyle said. "I just wanted him to know how much we support him. I wanted his staff and players to know we support them. I wanted him to know I would be here if he needed a sounding board.
"I know as a coach it can be lonely sometimes."
The popular Boyle feeling lonely? Yes, even in his hometown.
During Boyle's first season as a head coach at Northern Colorado, the Bears finished with a 4-25 record.
Even more humbling was UNC finishing dead last nationally in the final RPI rankings.
The Bears won 25 games and made the first postseason appearance in program history during Boyle's fourth season. After the Greeley native left for CU, the UNC team he built won the Big Sky and made its first NCAA Tournament appearance.
"It's hard to compare football to basketball because of the numbers and the physicality and the injuries you deal with in football," Boyle said. "The injury report they deal with each week is mind boggling. Right now I think they're developing depth. ...
"One of the things I shared with Jon is we were literally the worst college basketball team in the country. There's no doubt in my mind they're going to get this turned around. I've got full confidence in Jon and his coaches."
The external heat Embree was feeling after an 0-3 record in nonconference play was tempered last week by the CU's 35-34 victory at Washington State.
The Buffs will head into the bye week 1-4 after reality and the Bruins bit them hard on Saturday.
Boyle said the only way to go from the bottom of a sport to the top of a conference is to start on the recruiting trail.
"Unfortunately, you can only recruit one class at a time. It might take some time to crawl out of it, but you can't splinter," Boyle said. "I know it's hard and sometimes it's not fun. That will make it all the more sweet when they get it built."
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