Five-star coup: Coveted recruit Cody Williams signs with CU Buffs men’s basketball – The Denver Post
Colorado men’s basketball fans have plenty to look forward to this season.
But there officially is a huge reason to already get excited for the 2023-24 campaign.
Head coach Tad Boyle and his staff completed a major recruiting coup on national signing day on Wednesday, signing coveted five-star wing Cody Williams to lead the Buffs’ 2023 recruiting class. A 6-foot-8 wing, Williams is ranked as the No. 21 prospect in the nation by 247Sports.
“It’s a testament I think to our hard work and my assistant coaches and how hard they work every single day, in recruiting,” Boyle said. “It’s a testament to Cody Williams and his family to look for the best fit. So many times during recruiting you hear from kids and families, ‘We’re looking for the best fit.’ And it’s a guard and he goes somewhere that has six guards in the program already and none of them are graduating. At the end of the day, it’s really not about the best fit. It’s about the highest level a lot of times.
“We knew the family because we recruited his older brother a little bit. We weren’t smart enough to go all-in on him. I told Cody when I make one mistake, I try not to compound it with making two. I think our core values and how we develop players really resonated with Cody and his family.”
The Buffs also landed Courtney Anderson Jr., a combo guard out of the Bay Area in California who committed to the Buffs on Sept. 23. CU also remains in the running for 6-foot-10 big man Assane Diop out of Denver, but he is not expected to announce his choice until next week. If CU signs Diop, Boyle will do so with the expectation that one of the non-seniors on his current roster eventually will leave the program, as the Buffs have only two players who are exhausting their eligibility this season (graduate transfers Jalen Gabbidon and Ethan Wright).
Williams is the younger brother of Jalen Williams, a former star at Santa Clara who was selected in the first round (12th overall) of this past summer’s NBA draft by Oklahoma City. Williams had whittled his choices to CU and LSU after also receiving interest from Arizona, USC, UCLA and Georgia Tech.
Williams has the potential to be the first one-and-done recruit in CU basketball history, and his addition continues an uptick in recruiting the CU program has enjoyed in the later years of Boyle’s 13-year tenure.
The 2017 class — McKinley Wright IV, Tyler Bey, D’Shawn Schwartz and Evan Battey — all finished as 1,000-point scorers and produced the program’s all-time assists leader (Wright), two of the top 20 rebounders in team history (Bey and Battey), and one of the program’s top all-time 3-point shooters (Schwartz), in addition to leading CU to the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
The 2021 recruiting class — KJ Simpson, Lawson Lovering, Javon Ruffin, Julian Hammond III and Quincy Allen — was ranked at the top of the Pac-12 and 13th nationally by 247Sports.
“I don’t get into rankings, I don’t get into how many stars are next to kids’ names. But I know really special, talented players,” Boyle said. “And Cody Williams is a really special, talented player.”
Anderson, a 6-foot-5 guard from Dublin, Calif., is considered a three-star recruit by 247Sports, which ranks him as the No. 86 prospect nationally and No. 37 in California. Per 247Sports, Anderson also received interest from Arizona State, Cal, Cal Poly and Nevada. Like former CU forward Jabari Walker, who was selected in the second round of the 2022 NBA draft by Portland after two years in Boulder, Anderson is young for his class and does not turn 18 until August.
“Courtney Anderson, he’s a kid that just turned 17 in August,” Boyle said. “He’s 6-5 and athletic and can really shoot it. His upside is unquestionable. He’s tremendously athletic. He’s got good length. He’s going to fit the mold of the guys we’ve had in the past — 6-5, long, can play multiple positions, guard multiple positions. He’s going to be a heck of a college basketball player.”
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