April 16, 2009

Boyle adds guards Arnold, Unruh to the fold

KSPR.com: "Branson's Unruh going D-I"
The Denver Post: "Arnold to play hoops at UNC"
Greeley Tribune: "Tad Boyle pleased with '09 recruits"
UNCBears.com: "Boyle announces 'big signings'"

GREELEY, Colo. -- Who knows? Maybe at some point down the road, this year's crop of Northern Colorado men's basketball recruits will be celebrated as the very best to come in and come out of Tad Boyle's program.

That was the feeling in Boyle's office Wednesday afternoon as he officially announced the signing of two more players, guards David Arnold (Highlands Ranch) and Tate Unruh (Branson, Mo.), who signed their National Letters of Intent on Tuesday, April 15, to his 2009-10 recruiting class.

Arnold and Unruh (pronounced UN-roo) will join Emmanuel Addo (Northfield, Minn.) and Connor Osborne (Littleton), two forwards who put pen to paper last fall.

"Both of these kids (Arnold and Unruh) have tremendous, tremendous upside," Boyle said, "and I think they'll be able to help us right away. Now, how much remains to be seen. I don't try to predict how much freshman will be able to contribute, but I know they'll join Emmanuel and Connor as great four- or five-year players for our program.

"I really hope they can all go through together. When I first got to Wichita State, our first full recruiting class was six guys -- and that's a big class -- and four of them played together until their senior years and all four ended up being 1,000-point scorers for us. That's what I think this class can do."

Arnold (6-2, 195 pounds) will come to Greeley after a standout career at ThunderRidge High School, where he played two years at wide receiver on the football team and four years of basketball for coach Joe Ortiz.

He averaged just 11 points per game his junior season before breaking out during his senior year this winter with 22 points per game as the Grizzlies advanced to the Colorado 5A Final Four, where he was named to the all-tournament team.

Arnold was a first-team All-Continental Conference basketball selection this winter, as well as a member of the 5A All-State Basketball First Team and an All-Colorado Basketball selection. He also participated in this year's "The Show" Colorado high school basketball all-star game.

"David Arnold is a guy who had a great senior season," Boyle said. "He really overachieved this year, especially toward the end of the season. He wasn't surrounded by a whole lot, so David really had to shoulder a lot of the responsibility.

"He's just a tough kid. He can really shoot it, and he's a great passer as well."

Unruh (6-2, 150), a 2009 McDonald's All-American nominee, will leave his Branson High School playing days as one of the very best to ever play high school basketball in the state of Missouri. He finished his career with the Pirates this winter as the second-best career free-throw shooter in state history (87.3 percent) as well as the fourth-best three-point shooter (46 percent his senior year).

He's also leaves Randy Bishop's program as the record-holder in single-game three-pointers (nine), three-pointers in a season (97), three-pointers in a career (236) and free-throw percentage in a season (91 percent).  

"Tate is a really skilled player who started to catch our eye last July," Boyle said. "The more and more he played, the more and more we liked him. There are some guys that the longer you watch them, the less you start to like them because you see the deficiencies in their game, and you see what they can't do. But with Tate, the more we watched him, the more I appreciated what he did on the basketball court.

"He's a great decision-maker, can really, really shoot it and just has a great feel for the game. Whether it's in the half-court or on the fast-break, we just always saw him do some good things.

"The downside is he's barely 150 pounds. So a lot of Division I schools just didn't give him much of a look. But we found out his dad hit a big growth spurt after high school, and that's always a good sign. He's already grown since we first saw him, and we think he might just keep going. If he gets to be 6-3, 6-4, well, then he could end up being a big-time player."