Comfortable in the Moment

Colorado star Spencer Dinwiddie was an unabashed ball of energy Thursday during Colorado's practice.

AUSTIN, Texas - Everything looked, sounded and felt standard -- except the sound of Spencer Dinwiddie's voice.

As the rest of Colorado's players danced to the usual, blase tune in Thursday's glorified shoot-around to prep for their NCAA second round game against Illinois, Dinwiddie was loud and unwavering.

"CASH ME OUT," he'd blast when he sank a jumper.

"HARD WORD," was his motto after numerous slam dunks.

Colorado's leading scorer with 15.6 points per game, the sophomore Dinwiddie was at ease Thursday because he's been here before.

The Buffaloes made the tournament last season, a year in which Dinwiddie set the school record with 36 starts as a freshman.

"Experience is always a good thing," he said. "It kind of settles down a little bit, because it's not your first time. That kind of goes with everything in life. So it's the same in this situation."

This season he scored double figures in 27 games, shooting 35 percent from 3 and 82 percent from the free throw line.

He was named All-Pac 12 First Team for his efforts. With that in mind, D.J. Richardson, the Illini's top-notch senior defender, will most likely spend much of the game shadowing the Buffaloes star.

"Well we're four-year college players, and we have been through a lot, especially playing in the Big-10, so many great players that have been through our league," Richardson said. "We played like 34 games this year and we experienced a lot of things. So obviously they're pretty good guys, overall long length, six-six, six-seven guys that can spread you good on defense, but we played so many games this year that we should be ready to play them."

Dinwiddie is one of the main reasons the Colorado basketball program is on the rise.

And if his behavior in practice Thursday provides any insight, it's that he's comfortable in the spotlight and unafraid to be himself in these ever-important moments.

"When coach was recruiting me he talked about wanting to build Colorado into a perennial Top-25 program and that being his dream job," Dinwiddie said. "I think you see the strides that we're making towards that. We have had three straight 20 win seasons. We had post season play each time, two of them being NCAA tournaments. We're just are going to continue to try to get better and try to keep playing good basketball."

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