CU basketball 2012 recruits
Pos. Player Ht. Hometown High school
Forward ... Wesley Gordon ... 6-7 ... Colorado Springs ... Sierra
Wing ... Chris Jenkins ... 6-6 ... Detroit ... Detroit Jesuit
Wing ... Xavier Johnson ... 6-7 ... Santa Ana, Calif. ... Mater Dei
Forward ... Josh Scott ... 6-8 ... Colorado Springs ... Lewis-Palmer
Point guard ... Eli Stalzer ... 6-3 ... Santa Ana, Calif. ... Mater Dei
Point guard ... Xavier Talton ... 6-2 ... Sterling ... Sterling
The Tad Five is now the Coors Six-Pac.
Less than two weeks after winning the Pac-12 Tournament at Staples Center, Colorado has landed another prep prospect from Los Angeles.
Eli Stalzer, a 6-3 point guard at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., will be the sixth member of the Buffs' impressive 2012 recruiting class.
Highly touted CU recruit Xavier Johnson is also on the powerhouse Mater Dei team that will play for the California Division I state championship on Saturday.
Stalzer is the fifth high school player from Southern California that second-year CU head coach Tad Boyle has recruited to Boulder since the program moved from the Big 12.
"Tad just kept coming out and watching Xavier, and I think he fell in love with Eli and what he can do," Mater Dei head coach Gary McKnight said during an interview with the Camera on Thursday night. "He can really handle the ball, he can play the point or the two, and we usually put him on the other team's best player to defend."
Johnson, a 6-7 wing, was recruited by a list of other prominent schools, including UCLA and USC, but not hard enough to keep him home.
"There's a lot of people watching him right now saying, 'We made a mistake,'" McKnight said. "He's only a couple rebounds away from averaging a double-double over 35 games. That's unheard of and just shows his consistency."
McKnight said Johnson and Stalzer had some fun at the expense of Mater Dei teammate and UNLV recruit Kevin Reinhardt when the Buffs beat the Rebels in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
"Tad's done a really good job," said McKnight, who has had players recruited by Arizona, Cal, Stanford and UCLA in recent years. "I love his temperament and how he handles things."
Los Angeles exports Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie became highest scoring freshmen duo in CU history while helping the Buffs to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years.
"The list goes on when you talk about guys returning and guys coming in for next year," Booker said after CU's 80-63 loss to Baylor last Saturday in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. "I think it will be great."
Boyle had an extra scholarship to give after Damiene Cain, a freshman from West Hollywood, Calif., decided to leave the program in September. The 6-7 forward rejoined the team without a scholarship in November but left again in January to due to personal reasons.
Johnson had 26 points and 11 rebounds in Mater Dei's last playoff game.
Stalzer's season averages -- 5.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals -- don't jump off the stat sheet. McKnight said his point guard would probably have averaged double figures in scoring, but he lost 10 pounds due to illness midway through the season.
Boyle must replace point guard Nate Tomlinson. The senior started the last four seasons at CU.
Dinwiddie, who helped fill the void on the wing last season with the early departure of Alec Burks to the NBA, is a natural point guard.
Xavier Talton, a standout point guard from Sterling High School, is in Stalzer's class.
The Buffs will also have some gifted new kids on the block next season with the arrival of 6-8 Lewis-Palmer forward Josh Scott and 6-7 Sierra forward Wesley Gordon. The other incoming freshman will be Chris Jenkins, a 6-6 wing from Detroit.
Scott (65) and Johnson (83) are both among the nation's top 150 prospects at rivals.com.
CU's class was already ranked No. 22 by ESPN before Stalzer was added. Only two Pac-12 teams, Arizona (1) and UCLA (12) have classes ranked higher.
"We have to teach these guys that are coming in how to play the game and they'll get used to it eventually," CU junior-to-be Andre Roberson said last week during the team's NCAA Tournament run in Albuquerque, N.M. "We have a great group of freshmen coming in, and I feel like they will learn quickly."