Utah basketball coach Jim Boylen is finally able to talk about his first full class of recruits.
The Utes signed five high school athletes, who had previously committed to national letters-of-intent, during the early signing period, which began Wednesday.
The five athletes are Jordan Cyphers, a guard from Wichita, Kan., guard Chris Hines from Houston, forward Josh Sharp of Lone Peak High School, guard Jace Tavita of Brighton High School and center Jason Washburn of Battle Creek, Mich.
As per NCAA rules, Boylen is now able to talk about his recruiting class, which he feels is one of the top recruiting classes, of not the top, in the Mountain West Conference.
"We got the two best players in the state of Utah, we got one of the top three players in Michigan and we have Mr. Basketball candidates from Utah, Michigan and Kansas," Boylen said. "We got five commitments from five quality kids.
"When we talk about recruiting, we want to build around toughness, defense, running and shooting. All these kids really fit into that mold for us."
Cyphers is a 6-4, 175-pound guard from Southeast High School in Wichita. Last year he averaged 16.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game when he was first team all-Metro and 6A second-team all-state.
"Jordan has two things that we think are very important in recruiting toughness and shooting ability," said Boylen. "He's also a 3.7 student."
Hines is a 6-foot guard who committed to Utah soon after Boylen was named coach. He is ranked as a top 20 player in Texas and averaged 12 points and four assists last year for a 29-8 team.
"Chris is a tough-minded, physical guard who can play the one or two," Boylen said. "I think he has a chance to be a defensive stopper at this level. He's also a tough kid and a good student."
The 6-7, 185-pound Sharp averaged seven points and six rebounds off the bench last year for a loaded Lone Peak team. He is expected to leave on an LDS mission before playing for the Utes.
"Josh has an unbelievable competitive spirit. He definitely has a nose for the ball and an ability to get to the free-throw line," Boylen said. "He's a 3.9 student and is also a gym rat. He comes from a terrific high school program at Lone Peak under Quincy Lewis."
Tavita is a 6-4, 180-pound guard who averaged 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Patterson Prep School in North Carolina last year and was also recruited by USC, Washington, Oregon, Washington State and BYU.
"We feel Jace is the best player in the state of Utah in the 2008 class," Boylen said. "He's got great toughness, grit and competitiveness. He's a push-the-ball type of guard, who will really add to our running game."
The 6-11, 200-pound Washburn averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots as a junior. He was ranked as the No. 86 player in the nation by Rivals.com.
"Jason has a great motor and enthusiasm for the game," Boylen said. "He's got a tough, attack-oriented defensive mindset.
"Offensively, he's got the potential to really develop."Boylen said he doesn't anticipate signing any more players during the spring signing period, as the Utes have their fill of scholarships for next year with this class.
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