I'm not going to go too deep on Spencer Dinwiddie's announcement, because it was already done better right over here. Better than what, you ask? Better than anything I could've written, certainly, but also better than jerk chicken nachos, better than a fine scotch, better than Street Fighter II in the arcade, better than a baby's laughter, the gentle caress of a lover, and the day you got your first iPhone. Dear god why are you still reading this when you could be reading that? I will wait...
...See? Better. Anyway, I'm not upset, I'm not sad, and I'm sure as hell not angry. In fact, I was right. Alec Burks was right when he declared, as he became a lottery pick and is rising as a player. Andre Roberson was right, as he became a first round pick, and fits in nicely with a smart organization. And Spencer Dinwiddie was right. There is no doubt in my mind. If anything, I was worried that he might push himself too hard to get back and suffer another injury because of it, like his hero, Kobe Bryant. It sounds like that is not the case. So I am content, but also frustrated. Is that a contradiction? Shut up.
It is frustrating that every time we seem poised to take a big step forward, we lose a Burks, or a Roberson, or a Dinwiddie, and the boulder rolls right back near the bottom of the hill. That we have managed to maintain our position despite losing two NBA players speaks to the ability of the coaching staff to continue to identify and develop talent that is usually less heralded than that which matriculates on the campuses of our conference peers, but man would it be nice to see the fully formed fist of Colorado Basketball throw some haymakers. As it is, we're constantly like a frozen pizza that you took out of the oven prematurely because you just got home from the bar and were starving. Sure, it's still good and satisfying, but the cheese isn't fully melted, the center is still frozen, and the crust is mushy. It, like the team, is just not quite done.
I want to see a team that is fully cooked. But is that ever even possible? As Ben so eloquently put it:
But that's life. Sometimes goodbyes aren't what you expect. That's what makes college ball so appealing to me. The joy gained from watching is fleeting. What is here today will be different tomorrow, which underscores how important it is to enjoy success at face value.
That was beautiful, and that's what I love about college sports as well. The job of the program is to help players reach their potential and see them move on to success at the next level, and the job of the fans is to enjoy them for the brief time that they are here. We do that because we know that when they leave, they will be a #ForeverBuff. In pro sports, you know that a player rarely belongs to you. He will inevitably sign with the Yankees, get traded to the Mavericks, or be cut because of his price tag. But college sports fans know that, for the most part, those players are Buffs, no matter if they eventually become a Packer, or a Thunderer, or a Tiger. Unless you're an Oregon fan of course.
So the program is constantly recruiting to replace the newly departed, and next year we will replace Spencer Dinwiddie with Dom Collier, and Ben Mills with Tory Miller, and Beau Gamble with no one, not ever. Those two seem better suited to step in and fill key roles more than the recent string of All Of The Wings, who still need a few more minutes of cook time. The roster still looks like one that can compete for a bye in the conference tournament and a spot in the NCAAs, but no one will replace the value of Dinwiddie. To be honest, the best thing to happen to next year's team is also the worst thing to happen to last year's team. Spencer getting hurt turned up the heat on the role players and forced them to cook a little faster. Some of them eventually got burned, but the program is ahead of where it would have been had Spencer stayed healthy. So we take another slow step forward, pushing that boulder, and I am excited to enjoy them and their development for the inevitably fleeting time they have with the Buffs. I am content and frustrated and excited.
Ugh - feelings are the worst.