Once again, one of the state’s top basketball talents is planning to continue his career at the University of Colorado.
Coach Tad Boyle’s CU program received some good news just ahead of the weekend Friday afternoon when Dominique Clifford, a four-star guard out of Colorado Springs, announced his verbal commitment to join the Buffaloes in 2020.
Clifford is the second player from Colorado to pledge a commitment to the 2020-21 Buffs, joining Columbine’s Luke O’Brien. A 6-foot-5 combo guard who plays at The Vanguard School, Clifford’s commitment puts in place a potential backcourt of the future for Boyle’s club, as Clifford will soon team with newcomer Keeshawn Barthelemy. Barthelemy, a 6-foot-2 point guard, reclassified to join the Buffs last month and is expected to redshirt during the 2019-20 season.
With notable exceptions in Josh Perkins and De’Ron Davis, the recruits Boyle’s staff have targeted in-state generally have landed in Boulder. Clifford and O’Brien join a growing in-state legacy of Boyle’s tenure that includes Josh Scott, Wesley Gordon, Xavier Talton, Dominique Collier, Derrick White, D’Shawn Schwartz, and Dallas Walton.
Clifford averaged 18.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game last season while leading Vanguard to a 24-3 record and a runner-up finish in the Class 3A state tournament. Clifford posted 23 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the title-game loss to Denver Manual.
Clifford’s commitment seemingly fills the Buffs’ 2020 class and the two scholarships available next year from 2019-20 seniors Lucas Siewert and Shane Gatling, but the Buffs may yet add another piece to the 2020 class. CU has an offer out to Tari Eason, a four-star forward out of the state of Washington who, according to Rivals.com, also has offers from Florida, Cincinnati, Maryland, and USC.
If the Buffs do sign three recruits on the signing date of Nov. 13, it will protect the Buffs against any possible roster losses in the spring, which have become common, and the possible loss of junior forward Tyler Bey, a likely first-round pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
Eason, Clifford and O’Brien all took official visits to CU two weeks ago during the weekend of the football win against Nebraska.