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Friday, March 13, 2020

KU point guard Devon Dotson’s stay-or-go decision process arrives sooner than expected

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (1) is defended by West Virginia guard Miles McBride (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Kathleen Batten)

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (1) is defended by West Virginia guard Miles McBride (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Kathleen Batten)

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After testing the NBA waters following his freshman season at Kansas, point guard Devon Dotson’s decision about what to do after Year 2 has arrived sooner than anyone could have imagined.

With college basketball’s postseason being called off Thursday over concerns of the spread of the coronavirus, the focus now shifts to what’s next.

While that question carries with it a fair amount of uncertainty for spring sports teams and several professional leagues, for Dotson it means a decision about whether to turn pro or return to KU for his junior season.

“He hasn’t been 100% in terms of anything,” Dotson’s father, Dana, told the Journal-World during a late-season interview in Lawrence. “His philosophy is let’s just focus on the season and then after the season, kind of like we did last year, then we’ll have that talk.”

Added Dotson’s mother, Angie: “We’re really into our faith. So we just tell him to pray about it and let God lead you.”

Dotson took his decision to the 11th hour a year ago, announcing just before the deadline that he would pull his name from the NBA Draft pool and return to Kansas for a second season.

The 6-foot-2 point guard from Charlotte, N.C., made the most of his return, leading the Big 12 in scoring, at 18.1 points per game, and earning unanimous All-Big 12 honors from the coaches and The Associated Press.

Dotson also was named a first-team All-American by Bleacher Report and figures to have more accolades on the way as the college basketball world recovers from Thursday’s news and gets back to business as usual.

According to Dana, part of the reason Dotson had such a strong second season was the experience of working out in front of NBA scouts and personnel last summer.

“I thought it was fantastic,” Dana said. “Any time you can get feedback directly from NBA teams, that’s real helpful, real feedback. He’s always been focused, but that definitely gave him even more focus.”

Dotson has a few friends and former teammates now playing in the NBA. And the chance to talk with them, while also hearing how things work from NBA management, gave the Kansas point guard added insight into what it takes to play and succeed at that level.

Dana Dotson said Grant Williams, who played with Dotson at Providence Day in Charlotte and is now with the Boston Celtics, played a big role in helping Dotson understand that “intangibles matter.”

“All these NBA guys are really good,” Dana said. “And I think it helped him see that it’s just the little things that separate people.”

With the college basketball season ending a few weeks early, Dotson and others in his position have even more time than normal to make their decisions.

According to NBA.com, the early entry deadline for the 2020 draft is set for 10:59 p.m. April 26. The 2020 NBA Draft Combine is scheduled for May 21-24 in Chicago, where Dotson was born.

Comments

Benjamin Shear 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Some thoughts on the team and the players:

1) Dotson should, and will go pro. It is the right time for him. I am confident that missing out on the tournament will make him think about returning for a minute or two. But I believe he should strike while the iron is hot.

2) Dok finished his career as the best % shooter ever in NCAA history.

3) Who gets national player of the year? I think it should go to Dok, with both him and Dotson being 1st team all Americans.

Bryce Landon 2 weeks, 1 day ago

He's not ready. And I can't imagine a fiery competitor like him would want his college career to end with the resounding thud of not having an NCAA Tournament to play in because of mass hysteria over coronavirus. He should come back for his junior year. Period.

Dane Pratt 2 weeks, 1 day ago

He's as ready as he'll ever be. The NBA doesn't care if you are ready to make the transition because most of them aren't. Even Zion has to overcome the learning curve. That's what happens when you go pro.

Brian Skelly 2 weeks, 1 day ago

I'd be curious as to how the NCAA extending eligibility affects Seniors.    I don't mean ours per se,  but I'd be curious as to how many guys would contemplate coming back to play if they're not on the radar to play professionally -- and 95% are not.

Right now it sounds like they are just concentrating on Spring sports,  but I could see a scenario where they include the winter ones.     It's the NCAA, so who knows.

It'd probably improve the quality of play next year if this happened.

Mike Riches 2 weeks, 1 day ago

I love Dot and would be thrilled if he decided to return. But he can't get much faster, and he's not going to grow 4 inches in the next year. I can't imagine that he could do anything to improve his draft stock, above what he did this year. This is a weak draft, and therefore, sadly for us, the time for him to go.

Robin Smith 2 weeks, 1 day ago

PG is the strongest position in the NBA. I would keep working on the three and being a distributor. He needs to be as ready as possible from day one in the League. If he goes pro, he'll be in the G-League (not a slight to him). Stay at KU and postpone the clock on your career young man. Once you've had your chance, it's hard to get another.

Dane Pratt 2 weeks ago

That's not bad advice but even if he spends four years in Lawrence he may very well end up in the G-League. I think it has to do with timing. If the current demand for PG's is in his favor then now might be the time to make the move. If not, waiting another year might be in his best interest.

Robert Brock 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Thanks for a great couple of seasons, Kid. Now, run along and make us proud - and get paid.

Chad Smith 2 weeks ago

I think it's pretty obvious his jump shooting has to improve if he wants to sustain and thrive in the NBA. Being quick and being a good finisher at the rim is great, but the NBA requires more. Really the question is if he wants to hone the skills at KU or on a g league or role player spot on an NBA roster the first couple years. Jump shooting takes time, everyone thought Ben Simmons was going to be vastly improved from last season shooting the 3 pointer and midrange. Turns it out he did improve, but really only slightly.

KJ Quartermaine 1 week, 1 day ago

To Bryce Landon,

I logged in for the first time in several years just to tell you how over-the-top stupid your comment is about Dotson.

Firstly, it’s not about you, and your selfish desire to see Dotson return. Secondly, if you haven’t received the memo by now, NBA GMs care more about ceiling and potential than actual NBA readiness, and it’s been like that forever.

Thirdly, nobody wants to read your faux newz talking point ‘hysteria’ comment. Please keep that garbage off this board

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