Prospect Profile: Spencer Dinwiddie
Breaking down Colorado’s junior point guard.
by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam
Spencer Dinwiddie | Colorado | Junior, 20 years old
G, 6-5, 200
Season (Seven Games, 30.7 MPG): 14.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.2 APG, 9.2 FTA, 24.5 PER
Last season (32.5 MPG): 15.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 7.3 FTA, 22.8 PER
Outlook: Spencer Dinwiddie quietly had one of the most productive seasons of any guard in college basketball in 2012-13. A fringe top-100 prospect coming out of high school, Dinwiddie, along with fellow under-the-radar stud Andre Roberson, led the Colorado Buffaloes to a 21-12 record and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Averaging 15/3/3, Dinwiddie scored in double-figures in 27 of 33 games and had a significant impact every time he stepped onto the court.
The title of “Best Point Guard in the Pac-12″ this season looks to be a two-headed race between Dinwiddie and ASU point guard Jahii Carson. Both are leaders of their respective teams (albeit completely different players), and both are projected to be NBA players. In fact, I think Dinwiddie will end up as Pac-12 Player of the Year, and contrary to most “draftniks,” a top-20 pick in a guard-heavy Draft next June. Standing at 6-5, Dinwiddie has good size, is interchangeable within the back-court, attacks the rim, rebounds well for his position and can lock-up his man when focused.
The question marks surrounding his game stem from a lack of assertiveness, skinny frame and below-the-rim athleticism. However, when I consider his rapid development through two seasons (and seven games) at Colorado, I’m optimistic on his NBA potential.
Let’s take a deeper look at Dinwiddie’s game.
Shot Attempt Breakdown: 61.8 percent Jump Shots | 26.5 percent Around Basket | 11.8 percent Runner
Half-Court Playmaking, Pick-and-Roll
Over the course of 497 offensive possessions last season, Dinwiddie posted an excellent 1.006 points per possession in the half court, ranking in the 89th percentile nationally. He has a quick first step to penetrate the defense, and his size allows him to take on frontcourt players at the second level. This is a big reason why he’s averaging an outstanding 9.2 free throw attempts per game, leading the Pac-12 in both free throw makes and attempts.
Dinwiddie has a polished offensive arsenal: He was an efficient jump shooter last season (48 percent adjusted field goal percentage), utilized a polish floater, and as mentioned, made a living at the foul line. He is an advanced ball handler, which is the foundation of his isolation prowess, and is skilled enough to finish with either hand. His size also gives him an advantage, as he can get clear shooting looks and also back down/overpower smaller guards.
Dinwiddie has been an average transition player thus far in his career. He’s equipped with the requisite size and skill to score/distribute, but he often lacks the body control to finish through contact. Dinwiddie hardly goes up for a dunk, and sometimes lacks “NBA burst.” I’m not saying he’s “bad” in transition, but if he can maximize his size and aggressiveness in the open court, it will elevate his overall game.
As the second video shows, Dinwiddie has some trouble finishing through contact. This is partly due to a lack of athleticism, but also due to a lack of effort and strength. He seems to coast in transition, and it’s frustrating to watch. Finishing with more assertiveness should be at the top of his “to do” list.
When Dinwiddie is keyed in, he attacks the basket relentlessly and is a foul-drawing machine. He draws fouls both in transition (24.1 percent free throw rate in transition) and in isolation (28.4 percent free throw rate in isolation), and has taken advantage of the bevy of smaller guards in the Pac-12 (Dominic Artis, Jahii Carson, Justin Cobbs, Royce Woolridge, etc).
In my estimation, right now Dinwiddie is more of a lead guard than a point guard. That isn’t necessarily a knock against him, because he does need to score for Colorado to be successful, but if Dinwiddie can increase his assist numbers while continuing to penetrate the lane, he will solidify himself in the point guard crop. He should also make strides in his isolation game, continuing to expand on his offensive arsenal and overall playmaking. Without Andre Roberson to collect rebounds and cause havoc on defense this season, Dinwiddie is now the main cog in Colorado’s attack, and will be gameplanned for accordingly.
Competing against a handful of talented guards in the Pac-12, Dinwiddie has a clear opportunity to prove himself this season. I expect him to continue his development as a do-everything lead guard, win Pac-12 Player of the Year and, sooner than later, cement his status as a mid- to late-first round pick.