Despite missing the final two months of the season with a torn ACL, Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie was a player expected to enter the 2014 NBA Draft. And on Thursday the Los Angeles native made it official, announcing in Boulder that he would forego his final season of college eligibility.
Dinwiddie averaged 14.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 17 games as a junior, and while his scoring average was higher as a sophomore (15.3 ppg) his shooting percentages were better in 2013-14. Dinwiddie shot 46.6% from the field, 41.3% from three and 87.2% from the foul line before suffering that season-ending injury at Washington on January 21.
With his size Dinwiddie can play either guard position, with the majority of his time at Colorado being spent at the point. The size and defensive ability are two assets that are expected to serve him well at the next level. Dinwiddie was projected to be a first-round draft pick prior to the injury, and the question now is just how much of an impact the knee injury will have on his prospects in the weeks leading up to the June draft.
As for Colorado and what head coach Tad Boyle will do to account for Dinwiddie’s departure, the Buffaloes won’t lack for experience on the perimeter. Askia Booker spent more time on the ball in the aftermath of Dinwiddie’s injury, and Xavier Talton moved into the starting lineup.
Colorado also returns three rising sophomores in Jaron Hopkins, Tre’Shaun Fletcher and George King, and incoming freshman point guard Dominique Collier is expected to compete for minutes upon his arrival on campus. Arizona’s the clear favorite to win the Pac-12 next season, but there are a number of teams (including Colorado) who hope to factor into the race.
Losing Dinwiddie hurts, but with Booker and forward Josh Scott among the returnees Colorado is capable of being in that mix.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
Florida freshman will miss the season with stress fracture
Bassett will require surgery in his right foot and his projected recovery time will be four-to-six months. The injury will force Bassett to redshirt the 2016-17 season.
A three-star recruit coming out of Oldsmar Christian in Florida, the 6-foot-9 forward wasn’t expected to be a big contributor during his first year with the Gators, but his loss does hurt some of the team’s frontcourt depth. With John Egbunu, Devin Robinson, Justin Leon and Kevarrius Hayes all returning, the Gators should have plenty of players to use in the frontcourt this season without Bassett.
Once Bassett is healthy and able to play next season he showed good athleticism and an ability to hit the glass hard while he was in high school. Bassett should be able to join Florida’s rotation as an energy defender and rebounder right away.
Iowa State lands four-star Class of 2017 guard Lindell Wigginton
Iowa State has its point guard of the future as four-star Class of 2017 prospect Lindell Wigginton pledged to the Cyclones on Friday.
The 6-foot-1 Wigginton is regarded as the No. 40 overall prospect on Rivals.com as the Canadian has spent the last few seasons at powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. With an ability to play both guard spots and defend a few spots, Wigginton is a valuable addition to head coach Steve Prohm’s ballclub as Wigginton could help replace Monte Morris after he exhausts his eligibility.
Wigginton is going to need to improve his consistency on his perimeter jumper, but he’s a good pull-up scorer who can make plays for himself or others off the bounce. Iowa State’s Class of 2017 recruiting haul now includes Wigginton, four-star wing Terrence Lewis and three-star guard Darius McNeill.
This commitment is huge for Prohm as Wigginton is the most highly-regarded recruit that he has landed with the Cyclones. With Prohm’s point guard history with guys like Isaiah Canaan at Murray State and Monte Morris now with Iowa State, Prohm did a nice job of finding his next young guard to mold for the future.