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BYU loads up on guards for the future

Head coach Dave Rose and the BYU Cougars have nabbed two guards in recent days, one for the 2016 class, and the other for the 2017 recruiting cycle. Colby Leifson from North Gwinnet (GA) was added for ’16, while 6′-3″ Christian Popoola was added from Bishop Gorman (NV) for ’17.

Leifson took some time to develop, but was regarded as a top notch outside shooter based on his spring and summer play. As a high school senior he averaged 17 points per game. He connected on 41 percent of shots from the 3-point line and was 93 percent from the charity stripe. According to a release from BYU, Leifson is expected to participate in the 2016-2017 season prior to taking a church mission.

Whereas Leifson came on strong as of late, Popoola has been a known quantity in the 2017 class for awhile, playing on both the Nike and adidas grassroots circuits in recent years. He played his sophomore season at Lone Peak (UT) for BYU assistant coach Quincy Lewis, before returning to Bishop Gorman (NV) to finish out high school, and has played with several BYU players in one setting or another. Both are among the top high school programs in the Intermountain West.

Popoola has good size, is a two-way guard, and is capable of playing in both backcourt slots. He is a top 150 prospect nationally, who had Rutgers jump into his recruitment as of late. BYU traditionally has had plenty of roster upheaval with church missions, so Popooola being able to be on the roster year-over-year would provide stability to the important backcourt positions.

About K.J. Hassenstab

K.J. Hassenstab is the publisher of the College Basketball Newcomers Guide book and Hoopniks.com. He founded Hoopniks.com in 2009, and has contributed to SlamOnline, Dime Magazine's HighSchoolHoop.com, and NBCSports.com, along with other publications in the past. Hassenstab has covered grassroots, high school and basketball recruiting for over a decade. Follow on Twitter, @Hoopniks.

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