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Jayhawks need a decision season victory from contemplative PG Devon Dotson

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Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) pulls up for a shot over Kansas State forward Makol Mawien (14) during the second half, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) pulls up for a shot over Kansas State forward Makol Mawien (14) during the second half, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Since the Kansas basketball team’s loss to Auburn in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the Jayhawks have been steeped in decision season.

Which players would decide to declare for the NBA Draft? Whom among the 2018-19 Jayhawks would elect to transfer? Would five-star prospects such as Matthew Hurt, Precious Achiuwa or R.J. Hampton choose to play at KU? What would the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Reinstatement committee determine about Silvio De Sousa’s appeal?

While it may seem KU head coach Bill Self and his staff have experienced fewer victories during decision season than the program’s rabid fan base would deem acceptable, this all-important portion of the offseason isn’t over yet.

One of the biggest resolutions capable of impacting next season’s roster will be reached by Wednesday night. That’s when the deadline arrives for every college player who entered the NBA’s pre-draft process and attended the combine but hasn’t yet decided whether to keep his name in the draft pool or return the college ranks for at least one more go-round.

And that’s when Self and the Jayhawks will find out whether high-speed point guard Devon Dotson will be blurring up and down the court at Allen Fieldhouse this coming season or embarking on his professional career.

The verdict is one Dotson will reach with his family, and they will do so from a well informed position now that the 6-foot-2 (in shoes) point guard has spent the past several weeks working out in front of and receiving feedback from NBA executives, coaches and scouts.

While it seems Dotson improved his stock through this process, his NBA future remains no sure thing. Unless there is some franchise who fell in love with Dotson and assured him he will be picked at the end of the first round or beginning of the second, it appears he could add further value to his draftability by returning for his sophomore season. As of Tuesday morning, ESPN’s list of best prospects available ranks Dotson 59th overall for the 60-pick draft. Quentin Grimes, who also has yet to announce his staying or going status, ranked 73rd on the list, while Dedric Lawson was 67th.

Self will find a way to get by without Dotson if the point guard’s ultimate choice is to remain in the draft. But Dotson resolving to come back to KU would qualify as a massive decision season win for the Jayhawks.

If Dotson announces he’s sticking around, it helps lessen the blow felt by Hampton’s Tuesday announcement that he’ll play professionally in New Zealand, as well as his subsequent declaration on “The Yak” radio show that he would’ve chosen KU had he decided to play college basketball.

Much more importantly, though, Dotson choosing the known of starring at Kansas over a murkier immediate future likely involving a lot of time next season in the G League would solidify KU’s standing as one of college basketball’s top teams in 2019-20.

More decisions that will impact KU’s next roster will come, including one from four-star forward Jalen Wilson, set to visit later this week.

But no conceivable conclusion at this juncture can do for the Jayhawks’ 2020 Final Four chances what Dotson could by deciding to run it back in a KU uniform.

Comments

Adam Bengtson 6 months, 1 week ago

Why is this hard? If anybody takes time to look at Mock Draft 2nd Round or anybody's top 60 prospects, none of the 3 Kansas players with eligibility left are on it.

This is what we call writing on the wall.

Are kids getting bad advice or just dumb? Or Both.

Glen Miller 6 months, 1 week ago

If you had a chance to chase your dream and someone told you that they held the card to make that happen........... would you turn them down? I think for Dotson it's much less about the money and more about his self belief and drive. If you don't believe in yourself then who is going to? This is a life altering decision, taking your time isn't "dumb". There is no gurantee that coming back moves him into the 1st round next year. He could put up the same type of season and that wouldn't be a bad thing and not improve his stock one singular bit. If he has a chance, then who are we to tell him not to take it.

Phil Leister 6 months, 1 week ago

Devon is wildly more important that RJ ever would have been to this team. Devon returns and we have a legit championship team.

Dirk Medema 6 months, 1 week ago

It wasn't about one or the other. They would have flourished next to each other, though it's irrelevant now. There's just no good reason to talk down about anyone, and it creates a bad image for the program.

Chad Smith 6 months, 1 week ago

From a professional standpoint, if he leaves and gets drafted low or undrafted, he has severely hurt his chances of making and more importantly sustaining on an NBA roster. Great, get drafted now when you could improve your skillset and further your overall longevity. It's a crapshoot but I don't get why players are so in love with being drafted at the back end of the draft when they have other options. Like just getting drafted is NEVER a guarantee for anything. But playing at KU for free and getting education is guaranteed if you come back.

Layne Pierce 6 months, 1 week ago

Right now our front court looks very strong, our back court not so much. Crucial 3pt shooting, that is when the game is on the line, who is going to do it? Dotson if he comes back is right now, our top option, perhaps Braun or McBride will be in the lineup at that time for that purpose, but that remains our achilles heel.

Question is, is there a dead-eye 3pt shooting speicalist, even a 3-star or juco player who could strengthen that weakness.

Without Dotson, we suddenly look vulnerable. Not that we won't compete, but winning conference and doing anything after that would be highly questionable.

RCJH

Richard Benson 6 months, 1 week ago

Quentin Grimes will withdraw his name from the NBA draft and return to Kansas for his sophomore season, Evan Daniels of 247Sports first reported. He averaged 8.4 points and started in all 36 games for the Jayhawks as a freshman.

Joining Grimes will be his backcourt running mate, Devon Dotson. The 6'2" guard announced his decision to withdraw from the draft and return to Kansas via Twitter. Like Grimes, he started all 36 games last season and put up 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

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