Imagine if Alec Burks were entering his senior season at Colorado.

Even Buffs fans will admit that, professionally speaking, Burks made the right decision when he entered the NBA draft following a spectacular sophomore season. The dynamic 6-6 shooting guard was selected 12th overall by Utah and played in 59 games as a rookie during a lockout-shortened campaign.

This season Burks could emerge as a star for the Jazz.

"I want to improve on everything," Burks told the Deseret News. "I want to get a consistent 3-point shot. I want to get better on defense. I want to improve in all areas of my game and be a complete player. I think I can be a very good player in this league and I'm willing to do the work to get there."

On the recruiting trail, Tad Boyle and his staff used the story of Burks winning the NBA lottery, as well as the consistent success of recent CU seniors, while putting together impressive 2012 and 2013 classes.

"What we've sold is the fact that we've had seven scholarship seniors in the last two years. They've all graduated and six of the seven are in the pros," Boyle said. "The other one is in law school. And that doesn't even include Alec."

Trey Eckloff, who graduated from CU in May with a finance degree and a $3,000 Pac-12 postgraduate scholarship for his academic achievements, is currently studying law at the University of Denver.


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Carlon Brown, the most valuable player of the Pac-12 Tournament in March, was signed by Golden State last week and is attempting to fulfil his NBA dreams at the Warriors training camp.

"I'm extremely excited for him," Boyle said. "The thing about Carlon is he has passed on some extremely lucrative overseas deals to give the NBA a shot. Obviously, I hope that it all works out. He's certainly capable."

The other two seniors from last season's NCAA Tournament team, forward Austin Dufault (Czech Republic) and point guard Nate Tomlinson (Australia), are playing professionally abroad.

Cory Higgins is trying to make the Charlotte Bobcats roster again after playing in 38 games as a rookie.

Levi Knutson (Poland) and Marcus Relphorde (Lithuania), the other two seniors from Boyle's first CU team, are entering their second professional seasons.

Boyle started a new tradition for the program this summer when he invited all of the above and other ex-CU players in the pros back to Boulder to compete with the 2012-13 team.

"It's an awesome idea," said Knutson, who was unable to play in the pick-up games due to an injury sustained while averaging 13.8 points for a team in Spain. "I'm hoping we can do it every summer."

Chauncey Billups, the most famous CU basketball face, is attempting to come back from last year's Achilles' tendon surgery at the age of 36. Mr. Big Shot is the veteran point guard of the young and explosive Los Angeles Clippers.

Chris Copeland, who played for Ricardo Patton from 2002-06, is fighting for a spot in New York after turning heads during the NBA's Summer League. After taking the road less traveled -- Copeland played in the D-League, Belgium, Germany, Holland and Spain since leaving Boulder -- the 6-8 forward signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Knicks.

"It's a dream come true," Copeland told ESPNNewYork.com. "At the end of the day, nothing is guaranteed, I still have a lot of work to do ahead of me. I'm just super thankful that they gave me the opportunity in the first place. I'm going to go out there and just work hard, and hopefully make sure I stick."

Some other pre-Boyle Buffs still playing are Dominique Coleman (D-League, Sioux Falls), Marcus Hall (Turkey), David Harrison (D-League, Reno), Richard Roby (Argentina) and Dwight Thorne (Greece).

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