Devon Dotson cites desire to win, avenge 2018-19 season as big reasons for his return to Kansas

Kansas guard Devon Dotson drives to the basket against Tennessee during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Kansas guard Devon Dotson drives to the basket against Tennessee during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Monday, June 10, 2019

Kansas point guard Devon Dotson on Monday described his recent testing of his NBA draft stock as equal parts fun and work.

“There were some fun things in there,” a smiling Dotson said before Monday’s weight lifting session with his teammates. “But at the end of the day it’s business. On that side, it’s all about professionalism. It’s the real world. Going through that experience was very beneficial for me, so it really helped out a lot.”

Throughout the month-long process, Dotson was measured and weighed, watched and scouted, praised and critiqued over and over by some of the best basketball minds in the game.

While keeping track of all of the information he heard proved to be a challenge, Dotson said a few consistent messages surfaced as from all of the analysts and evaluators with whom he had contact. And all of them had to do with his offensive game.

“Just (getting) more consistent with my outside shot, creating space for my shot, different ways of getting into it and better decision making out there on the court,” Dotson explained.

In all, Dotson put his skills on display for all 30 NBA teams at the pre-draft combine and then worked out for six or seven more teams on an individual basis while trying to decide whether to turn pro or return to Kansas for his sophomore season.

After processing the feedback that his agent received from NBA brass and weighing it against his own hopes, goals and expectations, Dotson made the decision to return to Kansas and has not looked back since.

“I took it very serious,” Dotson said Monday. “At the time I was all in, but I talked to my family and coming back to school was the right decision. We have some stuff we didn’t take care of last year and we’re just looking to come out with a vengeance.”

On the night Dotson announced his return — exactly three hours before the deadline for underclassmen hit — his father, Dana Dotson, told the Journal-World that his son did not feel he could leave KU without having won any kind of meaningful ring or hardware.

Dotson on Monday admitted that missing out on the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles and falling short in the NCAA Tournament played a role in his decision.

“It was a factor,” Dotson said. “It was kind of a thing my dad said, and I was like, ‘That’s true. I can’t be the one that doesn’t win anything here.’ That’s the big goal of all of ours. … I’m excited about the season. We have some really great pieces this year and I’m looking forward to what we have in store.”

One more piece of information that Dotson shared on Monday had to do with the number, and not the name, on the uniform he will wear during the 2019-20 season.

After wearing No. 11 for the Jayhawks as a true freshman, Dotson said he will be going back to No. 1 for his sophomore season, jumping back to the number he favored and wore throughout his childhood.

“I’m going 1,” Dotson said while walking to the weight room. “I made the change.”