This week, I had an opportunity to sit down with Colorado men's basketball player Spencer Dinwiddie.

As we all know, Dinwiddie tore the ACL in his left knee on Jan. 12 at Washington. We talked about his rehab, the injury itself, his future, etc.

I wrote an article about Dinwiddie and his future -- go to this link -- but had a lot of good leftover quotes from our conversation and wanted to share those with you Buffaloes' fans.

Here are some highlights from my conversation with Dinwiddie:

Buffzone: It's been almost six weeks. How are you dealing with the injury?

Dinwiddie: "There's nothing you can do to change it, so you've got to have to best possible outlook on it. They said that staying positive was going to be one of the hardest parts of the rehab, so I made it a point to try to always be positive."

Buffzone: How many times have you watched the play where you were injured?

Dinwiddie: "I haven't looked at it. They've played it enough times (on TV) that if I wanted to watch it, I could have. But, I put my head down or look away.

Buffzone: It had to be very disappointing, considering the hopes you had for this season.

Dinwiddie: "I didn't see - and don't get me wrong, Arizona is very good - but I didn't see a team that was better than us, the way we were playing.


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There wasn't a doubt in my mind that we were the best team in the conference. I made the 'cream of the crop' comment at media day and we were on pace to back it up."

Buffzone: What have you done so far with your rehab?

Dinwiddie: "No real running or jogging. I've ridden a bike, I lift weights. (Strength and conditioning coach James) Hardy's got me on the redshirt workout. The one that Chris (Jenkins) and Wesley (Gordon) had, that's what I do now."

Buffzone: Why haven't you been around the team regularly at practice?

Dinwiddie: "I've been around the team off and on. The thing that makes it hard is that I've taken my rehab and started to treat it like a job, so I haven't been able to be around the team like that, because if things conflict, I choose myself and the rehab over being at practice or traveling or things like that. This week, I haven't missed a practice, so I'm starting to try to be around the team more."

Buffzone: What are you aiming for with your recovery?

Dinwiddie: "I'm aiming for the most complete recovery. I'm aiming to come back more explosive, stronger, faster. One bright side, if there is any, it gives me a chance to learn the game a little differently from the sideline. And, it gave my body a chance to rest the first couple of weeks after surgery. Some time off that I hadn't had. It gave me a little bit of a rest and now I'm able to hit it hard and I'm trying to get stronger right now. The doctors are saying I can come back pretty much as fast as I want with the way that I'm healing.

"(Chicago Bulls guard) Derrick Rose said his (vertical leap) went from a 37 to a 42. I look at (former CU wide receiver Paul Richardson) and Paul said his 40 time went from an unofficial 4.4 to an unofficial 4.35. If you can do that off an ACL, then I'm trying to take my 37 to a 42, get faster and all of that. Just having the most complete recovery and coming back a better athlete are my goals."

Buffzone: When will you be fully recovered?

Dinwiddie: "It takes until 12 months to be 100 percent, but the graft in the first three months heals to 92.5. Pretty much beyond that is when I'll start running. It all depends on the strength of my leg. We'll see in the next six weeks how strong my leg gets. I may slow it down or speed it up, depending upon what process I have to go through next.

"If people are questioning whether I'm going to be ready to play next year, I'm going to be playing in like June. That's at the latest. Six months right now is looking more like the outside window, to be healed and playing. I'm not saying I'm going to be Spencer in six months. That'll probably take me months of training and ball-handling and getting back."

Buffzone: You mentioned taking either the longer approach (12 months) to recovery, or trying to come back quickly (in six months). Which approach will you take?

Dinwiddie: "The only difficult part is deciding which route I want to take with my rehab because I'm healing so fast. There's the 'take a ton of time, have the whole complete rehab, build your strength, come back way more athletic.' There's also the side, because the doctors say you're healing so quick, come back quick, try to make sure your skill is right and get prepared for next year. It really all depends on where I'm at and what people want me to do.

"My goal is a lot less short term (than it was before the injury). That's something this injury has done is matured me a lot. I thought big picture in the sense of our season, but I didn't think big picture in the sense of 15 years down the line. Now that I'm thinking 15 years down the line, I'm thinking about a long NBA career and not just next year. So, what might be best for my body is having the longer, more complete, athletic recovery, where I come back more explosive and without as many flaws in my body."

Buffzone: If you decided to come back to CU, would you consider taking the long route to recovery and returning in mid-season, rather than at the beginning?

Dinwiddie: "If I come back, I'm going to be playing all 35 games. There's no doubt about it, because of the way I'm healing. It's all 35, I'm here from the gate, I'm going to be ready to play in August, September."

Buffzone: If you decide to leave for the NBA, realistically where do you think you fit into the draft?

Dinwiddie: "I'm not a fool and think I'd go above 20 coming off an ACL, but at the same time, with my body of work, you look at the efficiency with which I played, and then you talk about how I affected the team - it's not a secret that I think I was or still am the best (point guard) in the country. That's not even a doubt in my mind. It's just whether teams feel that way."

Buffzone: Have you touched a ball during the last six weeks?

Dinwiddie: "Oh yeah. I have one in my room. Sometimes in practice you see me form shooting or dribbling. A couple of weeks ago, I was shooting one-legged. I'm still probably the best shooter on the team, man."