Tad Boyle is getting pretty good at handling these punches to the gut in late April each year.
Boyle would never describe a player choosing to leave school early to enter the NBA draft in such a way, but there is no doubt it's how he feels. It's not because Boyle disagrees with the decisions or doesn't support the young men making them. It's just that when he recruits players to his program, he does so hoping to coach them for four years and see them reach their full potential at the college level before they move on.
That didn't happen with Alec Burks three years ago. It didn't happen with Andre Roberson last year and it didn't happen with Spencer Dinwiddie, who became the latest Colorado basketball player to forgo his remaining eligibility and declare for the draft Thursday.
Dinwiddie, who suffered a season-ending torn ACL injury in January, said he chose to leave CU after his junior season, and despite the injury, because he believes it's the best decision for his future.
It's tough to argue with that. He might not get a guaranteed contract worth millions, but he'll be cashing a nice paycheck while working with great doctors and trainers this summer and fall to get his knee back into the best shape possible.
It's best to follow Boyle's lead and tip your cap to Dinwiddie, thank him for the memories and wish him good luck.
It's good that Boyle doesn't take any of this personally. It could drive him crazy and at the rate he's going he might be right back in that chair in the media room at the Coors Events Center again next spring.
We'll have to see how much 6-foot-10 forward Josh Scott develops this summer and next season. He's going to have to add some more weight and strength and learn to pass the ball out of double teams, but he could be one of the best big men in the nation next season and a candidate to leave early after his junior season next April.
Scott will get to the NBA, too. The only real question is whether it happens after his junior or senior season.
This is probably a good time to point out just how dim-witted that small faction of folks are who believe Boyle isn't recruiting at a high enough level.
The man has recruited and developed one first-round draft pick in Roberson. Another with first-round talent in Dinwiddie and at least one more likely eventual first-round pick in Scott. There might be one or two more on the current roster depending on how they develop.
The fact that Boyle is successfully recruiting these players and developing them to the point where the NBA is a serious option for them before their eligibility is gone is something CU fans should be celebrating.
Some CU fans reacted to Dinwiddie's announcement with disappointment. It's certainly understandable for those who wanted to see him in black and gold again because they understand how big it could have been for the program.
But the reality is, CU fans should be celebrating each time a Colorado player who is a legitimate NBA prospect turns pro. It helps build the program. It proves to other recruits it can be done here.
On the other hand, you have to wonder if the CU program is ever going to be able to fully jump to the next level where it can dream of Sweet 16s, Elite Eights and even Final Fours without one of these NBA-level talents actually experiencing a senior night.