Spencer Dinwiddie has officially declared for the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26th. This was clearly a difficult decision for Dinwiddie, especially after tearing his ACL. He had to declare by April 27th, but can still withdraw his name from the draft by June 16th.
This is a definite loss for the Colorado basketball team because Dinwiddie was their best player far and away. Even though they are losing Dinwiddie, they are returning a strong core that made it to the NCAA Tournament. This is experienced group and there is no reason not to believe that they will not return to the Big Dance.
Dinwiddie was very nervous in the beginning of his interview, clearly having final thoughts about his decision. He started out the press conference by thanking all the people that had helped him at University of Colorado, so it was clear what his decision was going to be. It is unusual for a player to call a press conference to announce his intentions to return to school, so it was pretty evident before the announcement.
At first, I thought the reason for the leaked rumors of leaning towards the NBA was so he could gain honesty information on his draft status. If Dinwiddie had said he was leaning towards staying in school, some agents may have lied to him. The agents would want him to declare to acquire his business. It should have been obvious that he was going to declare, but as a Buffs fan I held out hope that he would decide to stay.
Dinwiddie took a definite chance by declaring for the draft after a serious knee injury. He actually said that the doctors compared his knee recovery to super athlete Adrian Peterson’s. Peterson had an unbelievably short recovery time from an ACL injury, so for Dinwiddie to say that shows he must have a lot of confidence in his knee.
He was able to show, before his knee injury, that he was worthy of a first round choice. This was what ultimately led to his decision to declare. Dinwiddie showed the ability that many NBA scouts coveted and he is depending upon that to be selected in the first round.
Every other prospect that decided to stay did not announce a press conference. Players like Willy Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress announced their decisions on Twitter. The ones who declared, like Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker all held press conferences.
Tad Boyle was expecting Dinwiddie to jump to the NBA at the beginning of the season before the knee injury, so he has been preparing for it. He signed a ESPN top 100 recruit in Dominique Collier, who is also a point guard. This was clearly a goal of Boyle’s to attract a point guard prospect to replace his star player.
Colorado Basketball is not in a bad position going into next year. They have the talent and experience to potentially compete for a Pac-12 title depending upon their individual and team development. Tad Boyle seems a safe bet to stay at Colorado, barring any elite programs recruiting his services.