The last time Nevada basketball got a top-ranked high school recruit out of Colorado it worked out pretty well.
You have to go back to the 2003 recruiting class when the Wolf Pack signed Nick Fazekas, who was Mr. Basketball in Colorado his senior season. Fazekas ended up as the school's all-time leading scorer, a four-time NCAA Tournament participant and an NBA draft pick.
Over the weekend, Nevada again got a commitment from the top-ranked prep player in Colorado, this time it being Jalen Weaver. And while it would be unfair to place Fazekas-sized expectations on Weaver, the 6-foot-4 combo guard is hopeful he has a bright future ahead with the Wolf Pack.
"I feel like I couldn't beat the fit," Weaver said on Wednesday's edition of NSN Daily about committing to Nevada. "It was great coaching. Both coaches (Steve Alford and Craig Neal) played in the NBA, I like the conference and everything in the area. Also, it felt good to be committed and focus on my game and get better and focus on my school and not have to worry about that stuff."
Weaver emphasized the playing careers of Alford and Neal were important in his commitment. Both were standout college players, with Alford winning a national title at Indiana, before reaching the NBA. Weaver said the fact both were pro guards should help him one day chase that dream.
"That was one of the major reasons I joined Nevada," Weaver said. "Alford and Neal, they both played my position at the next level, so I can really develop my game around them, and I can get more IQ and knowledge from them."
Due to COVID-19, Weaver was unable to take an official visit to Nevada, but he did get a virtual one. He is thinking about majoring in engineering, and the university just finished a new $90 million building to house its engineering school. Additionally, Weaver said the Wolf Pack fan base played a factor in his decision.
"When I posted my commitment, people were retweeting it and stuff and showing love, so I'm excited about that," Weaver said.
While Weaver is from Aurora, Colo., and is listed by 247Sports as the state's top-ranked class of 2021 prospect (and No. 208 in the nation), he will spend his senior season in Southern California. After averaging 18.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game for Smoky Hill High last season, Weaver transferred to Santa Clarita (Calif.) Southern California Academy this season.
"It's another level of basketball, a high level against high-major guys every night, so that will get me better and more prepared for the Division I level," Weaver said.
Weaver said he needs to improve the consistency of his outside shot and get stronger during his senior season, which he's working on with a more focused strength program at his new program. While he is excited by the opportunity to play for a higher level prep program, he will miss Colorado.
"I just miss hanging out with my friends and stuff and going out, but I talk to my mom every day," Weaver said. "She calls me and stuff, so I stay in good touch with my family, but I know at the end of the day it's going to be worth it and the hard work will pay off. You have to make those sacrifices."
Weaver said he will bring Nevada energy and versatility when he joins the team for the 2021-22 season. He said he can score, rebound, pass, shoot and defend and wants to bring "a little bit of everything" to the Wolf Pack. He's excited to join a program with a recent history of winning and is looking forward to being a college player.
"I'm so excited to play at the next level of basketball," Weaver said. "It's always been a dream for me, so I'm just blessed it's going to come true soon. I just can't wait to get out there at Nevada."
You can see Weaver's full NSN Daily interview below.