After undergoing an MRI on Monday morning, doctors have confirmed that Colorado junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL and will undergo surgery next week.
During Sunday's game at Washington, Dinwiddie went down in the first half and left the game with seven points and an assist. During a drive to the basket, Dinwiddie's knee gave in without making contact with another player and he collapsed to the floor in tears. He didn't return for the remainder of the game.
In his three years at Colorado, Dinwiddie has seen a steady incline in his skill level each year. As a freshman, he averaged 10.0 points per game with 40.5% shooting efficiency in 34 games. During his sophomore year, he scored 15.3 ppg and shot 41.5% from the field.
This year, in his first 16 games prior to the injury, Dinwiddie averaged 15.2 ppg and made 46.5% of his shots. He is currently the team leader in scoring, assists (3.9 apg), and steals (1.6 spg). On top of that, he scored in double-digits in 13 of the 16 games so far this season.
Going into Sunday's game, Dinwiddie was Colorado's biggest three-point shooting threat on a team that didn't usually succeed much from behind the arc. He was averaging 1.6 treys per game and shot 41.9% from behind the arc.
At the beginning of the season, Dinwiddie told me that if he saw enough improvement in his game this year, he would opt out of his senior season to enter the NBA draft. Although Dinwiddie has improved on offense in the past two months, it seems that the junior guard may have to wait until after his senior season after all.
Prior to Sunday's game, Dinwiddie's draft projections were all over the board. According to Draft Express, he was projected to go in the first round (No. 24 overall) in the 2014 mock draft. As of January 13, that number dropped to 27.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports predicted that Dinwiddie would go first in the second round (No. 31 overall), saying, "Dinwiddie doesn't get seen as much as other prospects because he plays at Colorado instead of, say, UConn. But he's good and solid enough to play in the NBA."
With Dinwiddie out, the Buffaloes will have to rely on Askia Booker and their bench to pick up the pace. Booker, already a starting guard, has been described as a "streaky player" who basically plays hit-or-miss during games.
In Colorado's upset victory over the Oregon Ducks a week ago, Booker led the team with a career-high 27 points and turned right around to score 18 in CU's overtime win against Washington State in the next game. In Sunday's matchup against Washington, however, he didn't score one point.
Dinwiddie was Colorado's only real reliable guard, and it looks like they will have to figure out how to fill the gap on the roster now with him out for the season.
Without Dinwiddie, Colorado's outlook in Pac-12 just got a bit dimmer. They return home this week to take on no. 25 UCLA on Thursday and USC two days later on Saturday afternoon. UCLA will be coming to Boulder after narrowly losing to no. 1 Arizona last week.
More coverage to come from Buff Playbook as we learn more information.