BOULDER – Spencer Dinwiddie said he was forgoing his senior year at the University of Colorado to pursue his boyhood dream to play in the NBA, and on Thursday evening he took a big step toward that dream as the Detroit Pistons selected him with the No. 38th pick of the second round at the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The 6-6 junior point-guard from Woodland Hills, Calif. watched the NBA Draft at home with his friends and family.
“I’m really happy to be joining a new team, a new family in the Detroit Pistons,” Dinwiddie said. “I’m looking forward to the challenges that await. As for not being picked in the first round, things happen for a reason, it is, what it is. I can’t wait to get started.”
Spencer Dinwiddie becomes the third CU player since 2011 to be selected in the NBA Draft.
It was also the first and only pick for the Pistons of the 2014 NBA Draft.
“We felt going into the draft, Spencer was going to be a late first round, early second round pick. Certainly he went a little bit lower than I expected,” CU men’s basketball head coach Tad Boyle said. “Detroit got a heckuva of player, a guy who’s a solid NBA point-guard in the future and has a chance to be a star in the league.
"I really believe that Spencer has all the makings of being a terrific player for Detroit. I think with the new regime with the Pistons, it’s a fresh start for them, and certainly going to be a fresh start for Spencer. We are extremely excited for him and his family, and very proud of him.”
Projected as a second-round selection or not at all by most NBA analysts, Dinwiddie missed the last 18 games of the 2013-14 season with an ACL injury (left knee) that required reconstructive surgery. Dinwiddie called the decision to leave CU “very difficult (and) bittersweet. I love everything about this place – I love the guys, the coaches . . . but I was weighing the chance to do something special. It’s the best thing to do in terms of my future.”
A sample of Dinwiddie’s June positioning among the Top 100 draft prospects: NBADraft.net – 29th pick; CBSSports.com – 30th overall; ESPN.com – 38th overall; DraftExpress.com – 40th overall.
Dinwiddie, who averaged 13.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals during his college career, becomes the third CU underclassman in the last four years to exit early for the NBA Draft.
It’s the fifth time (most of any NBA team to select CU players) that the Pistons have selected a CU player in the draft (three times by Detroit; twice: Fort Wayne).
In addition to Dinwiddie, the others selected were Rob Gonzalez (No. 147, Detroit/NBA, 1983); Jim Davis (No. 29 overall Detroit/NBA, 1964); Tom Harrold (fourth pick, Fort Wayne/NBA, 1955); and Charlie Mock (ninth pick, Fort Wayne/NBA, 1955).
Preceding Dinwiddie at CU who left early and were drafted in the first round since ’97 were Chauncey Billups, No. 3 in ’97 by Boston; David Harrison, No. 29 in 2004 by Indiana; and Alec Burks, No. 12 in 2011 by Utah, and Andre Roberson last season by Minnesota at No. 26 (later traded to Oklahoma City).
Since the NBA lottery first began in 1985, Burks (2009-11) and Billups (1995-97) are the school’s only two lottery picks. Billups and Burks were both sophomores when they declared for the NBA Draft.
CU has had 36 men’s basketball players drafted.
Dinwiddie left CU among one of the all-time leaders in several categories including in two-and-a-half seasons at CU. In addition to becoming the 30th player to score 1,000 career points (1,115), he ranks in the career top ten in four categories: third in free throw percentage (.830), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (.386), fifth in free throws made (420), seventh in free throw attempts (506). He had been recognized nationally, making the Top 50 watch lists for the Cousy, Naismith and Wooden Awards.
COLORADO PLAYERS DRAFTED PROFESSIONALLY
*Scott Wedman, No. 2 overall Memphis/ABA, 1974
Chauncey Billups, No. 3 overall Boston/NBA, 1997
*Scott Wedman, No. 6 overall KC-Omaha/NBA, 1974
*Cliff Meely, No. 7 overall San Diego Clippers/NBA, 1971
Alec Burks, No. 12 overall Utah Jazz/NBA, 2011
Jay Humphries, No. 13 overall Phoenix/NBA, 1984
Shaun Vandiver, No. 25 overall Golden State/NBA, 1991
Andre Roberson, No. 26 overall Minnesota (trade with Oklahoma City)/NBA 2013
Pat Frink, No. 27 overall Cincinnati/NBA, 1968
David Harrison, No. 29 overall Indiana/NBA, 2004
Jim Davis, No. 29 overall Detroit/NBA, 1964
Ken Charlton, No. 32 overall Cincinnati/NBA, 1963
Spencer Dinwiddie, No. 38 overall Detroit/NBA/2014
*Jim Creighton, No. 39 overall Seattle/NBA, 1972
Donnie Boyce, No. 42 overall Atlanta/NBA, 1995
Jaquay Walls, No. 56, Indiana/NBA, 2000
Alex Stivrins, No. 75, Seattle/NBA, 1985
Chuck Williams, No. 77, Philadelphia/NBA, 1968
Chuck Gardner, No. 81, Baltimore/NBA, 1966
Joe Cooper, No. 96, New Jersey/NBA, 1981
Wilky Gilmore, No. 98, St. Louis/NBA, 1962
Dave Logan, No. 139, Kansas City/NBA, 1976
JoJo Hunter, No. 146, Milwaukee/NBA, 1981
Lee Haven, No. 146, Portland/NBA, 1974
Rob Gonzalez, No. 147, Detroit/NBA, 1983
Larry Vaculik, No. 168, Denver/NBA, 1978
Jacques Tuz, No. 173, San Diego/NBA, 1982
Emmett Lewis, No. 181, Denver/NBA, 1979
Brian Johnson, No. 212, Phoenix/NBA, 1981
Tom Harrold, fourth pick, Fort Wayne/NBA, 1955
Burdette Haldorson, fifth pick, Milwaukee/NBA, 1955
Charlie Mock, ninth pick, Fort Wayne/NBA, 1955
Wayne Tucker, ninth pick, Tri-Cities/NBA, 1951
Robert Doll, St. Louis/NBA, 1946
*Cliff Meely, first round pick, Denver Nuggets, 1971
*Jim Creighton, additional round choice of Dallas, 1972
*-drafted by both the NBA and ABA in the same year
Round Breakdown (36)
1st Round: 8
2nd Round: 3
Other NBA draft picks: 4
NBA Team Breakdown (33)
Detroit (3)/Fort Wayne (2): 5
Sacramento/Cincinnati (2)/Kansas City (1)/KC-Omaha (1): 4
Atlanta (1)/Tri-Cities (1): 2
L.A. Clippers/San Diego (2): 2
St. Louis: 2
Golden State: 1
New Jersey: 1
Oklahoma City: 1