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Boyle’s NBA Buffs Had Productive Seasons Amidst COVID Craziness

Sep 21, 2020

BOULDER - With innumerable bad things happening in 2020, one could say the seasons produced by the four Colorado Buffaloes in the NBA could be viewed as a silver (and gold) lining in the midst of the pandemic mayhem. 
 
Sure, it's disappointing that Spencer Dinwiddie couldn't play in Orlando with his Brooklyn Nets, but that doesn't put a damper on the budding star's season that saw him average 20.6 points, 6.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.  
 

We didn't think we would see Andre Roberson in the 2019-20 season, but due to the delay, he was able to see the court in Orlando for the first time in almost 900 days.   
 
How crazy is it to think that Alec Burks has now played in the NBA for nine seasons? He enjoyed his best season in terms of scoring (15.1 ppg), rebounds (4.3) and steals (.94) of his career.  
 
And Derrick White seems to be taking the blueprint that both Burks and Dinwiddie followed and improved his numbers for the third straight season, finishing with averages of 11.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game.  In Orlando, White averaged 18.9 points per game and had four of his six 20-point games on the season, including a 26-point outing against the Kings.

All four were coached by Tad Boyle during their time in Boulder.   
 
Burks, who played for the Utah Jazz for the first seven-plus seasons of his career, has now played for four other teams the last two seasons, eventually ending up with Philadelphia at the end of the 2019-20 season.  In addition to having his best career scoring, rebound, and steal marks of his career, he had the second-best marks of his career for assists (2.9) and blocks (.26).  
 
Burks began the 2019-20 season in Golden State and was traded to Philadelphia in February and played 11 games there before the shutdown.  In Orlando, he saw his role expand and he had his four best games of the season in the final four games there, including three 20-point games.  He is currently an unrestricted free agent for the 2020-21 season. 
 

 
Dinwiddie, who spent a good chunk of his first two seasons with Detroit back and forth from the G-League, has turned into one of the league's top players, averaging over 20 points per game.  He had six 30-point games and a 40-point game and had a stretch from Nov. 29 through December where he averaged 27.4 points over that 14-game stretch.  He has two years left on his current contract with a player option after 2021 and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2022. 
 
The feel-good story of the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder if not the entire NBA was the return of Roberson and his being able to compete in the bubble after missing most of the past two-and-a-half seasons.  It had been almost 900 days — January 27, 2018, to be exact – since Roberson had played in an NBA game and simply getting back proved to be a big relief. 
 
"A lot of emotions, happy, just overly ecstatic to get back out on the floor and hear coach call my name to get in the game," Roberson said in his post-game interview.  "The nerves started rattling.  I don't know if you all could tell in that first four minutes, it felt great to be back out there, supporting my team, it was a blessing." 
 

 
And while just in his third NBA season, White also had the best season of his young career.  He ended up playing 68 games for the Spurs, starting 20, including all seven in Orlando (he started two of the final three games prior to the shutdown, too).  On the season, he averaged 11.25 points, 3.54 assists, and 3.28 rebounds per game.  In seven games in Orlando, he averaged 18.85 points per game and four of his six 20-point games on the season happened in the bubble, including a 26-point performance against the Kings.  
 
Shortly after leaving Orlando, White underwent successful surgery to correct a dislocation of his toe and he will be a restricted free agent in 2021.  
 

 
If NBA teams are taking note of Boyle's ability to develop players who are able to continue to develop at the next level, that should bode well for Tyler Bey whenever the 2020 NBA Draft is able to happen.  Boyle's Buffs have proven again and again that they are solid investments that produce more as time goes by.