Friday, April 12, 2019

KU point guard Devon Dotson declares for NBA draft, ready to go all-in on ‘information-seeking quest’

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) swoops in to the bucket against Iowa State forward Michael Jacobson (12) during the second half, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) swoops in to the bucket against Iowa State forward Michael Jacobson (12) during the second half, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Consider Devon Dotson’s decision to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft “an information-seeking quest.”

That was the way Dotson’s father, Dana Dotson, described the move in a Friday phone call with the Journal-World a few hours after Devon Dotson announced his intentions on Twitter.

“After careful consideration with my family and coaches, I have decided to test the waters and enter into the 2019 NBA Draft process,” Devon Dotson wrote earlier Friday. “I feel it’s a great opportunity to obtain feedback from NBA personnel to make fully informed decisions regarding my basketball future. I will hire an agent and move forward while retaining my complete college eligibility.”

The ability to do just that comes from a new set of NCAA rules that allow underclassmen to solicit the help of NBA-certified agents during the predraft process.

Dotson, like KU teammates Quentin Grimes and Dedric Lawson, who declared for the NBA Draft earlier this week, will be able to return to KU if he pulls his name out of the draft pool by May 29 or if he stays in the June 20 draft, goes undrafted and then severs all ties with his agent.

At this point, neither is at the forefront of Dotson’s mind, according to his father, and the move to even entertain the idea of testing his draft status only came at the end of the season and was the result of the point guard’s strong showing as a freshman at Kansas, where he started all 36 games and averaged 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the 26-10 Jayhawks.

Dotson’s relentless style and speed with the ball consistently gave KU an advantage at the point guard position, and the third-team all-Big 12 selection who also landed on the Big 12’s all-freshman team often was said to be well ahead of the pace of former KU greats Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham.

“One of the reasons Devon went to Kansas was great coaching, great atmosphere and he wanted the opportunity to win,” Dana Dotson said. “He never went into college thinking his goal was to be there one year and leave. It was strictly just based on his performance this year. One of the things that kept running through my mind is, what’s the downside? Like, why not? At least for our situation, I think the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives.”

KU coach Bill Self agreed and said in a statement released Friday afternoon that Dotson had his complete support.

“I’ve had multiple discussions with Devon and his family, talking not only about the season but where he stands with his basketball future,” Self said in the statement. “They felt, and I do not disagree, they could gather more information on exactly where he stands in the eyes of the NBA if he were to declare and get as much feedback as he possibly can. They made it very clear to me that in no way, shape or form is he saying goodbye or is he going to compromise his collegiate eligibility in order to get that information. He will follow the guidelines the NCAA and NBA have put forth to allow him to sign with an agent to get feedback and make the decision. We support their decision. Although we wish him the very best in his preparation for this, we also believe there is a great chance that he’ll have a tremendous sophomore season at Kansas.”

Dana Dotson said the goal now was for his son to earn a predraft combine invitation — those should be sent out around April 26 — and see what he can do with that. He also said KU being mentioned in the ongoing federal investigation into corruption in college basketball had nothing to do with his son's decision.

The combine, which takes place May 14-19 in Chicago, offers draft hopefuls the opportunity to meet with teams, play in front of them and run through drills and interviews that give NBA front office personnel a complete picture of the players they are considering drafting.

“Hopefully if he gets to that point of the process, he’ll be able to sit down and talk to teams and get feedback on strengths and weaknesses,” Dana Dotson said. “The way I look at it is it’s no different than you’re doing research on a job interview. Once we have all the information, we’ll sit down as a family and kind of make a decision in terms of ‘what now?’”

Although there's still a chance Dotson will return for a sophomore season at KU, his father said the freshman point guard planned to go all-in on the opportunity in front of him.

“You’ve seen Devon,” Dana Dotson said. “He’s pretty competitive, so he’s going to go through the process 100 percent, obviously. But he’ll be at Kansas. He still has classes, and we can’t interrupt his academics, and he’ll continue to work out and get ready there.”

If Dotson stays in the draft, Self and company will have five open scholarships to fill and just four players returning from last season’s rotation — Ochai Agbaji, Marcus Garrett, Mitch Lightfoot and David McCormack.

The future for KU big men Udoka Azubuike and Silvio De Sousa remain question marks, as well, with many expecting Azubuike to move on and De Sousa still awaiting word about his appeal of his two-year suspension by the NCAA.

The final day for underclassmen to declare for the 2019 draft is April 21, and the spring signing period for players in the class of 2019 opens Tuesday, making next week a big week for two of the top remaining prospects on KU’s wish list: Four-star shooting guard Cassius Stanley is expected to announce his decision Tuesday, and top 10 forward Matt Hurt is slated to reveal his choice on April 19.


Layne Pierce 3 years, 5 months ago

Devon can get the info, but 90% he is coming back. What he needs to develop is his dimes. Sometimes he forces the shot, when he could have dished. Frank Mason and Devonte both had to perfect this part of their game. When he gets it next year, forget it. He won't be back as a junior, unless he just wants to.

His 3p shot is barely adequate, his dimes aren't good enough. But the pro potential is not that far off.


Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 5 months ago

First of all, I love the kid. The Big 12 needs talent like him, Kansas has flourished with talent like his. But, does his dad really think he can defend Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Damien Lillard or a host of others? There needs to be a second tier league separate from the G-League for players where they can develop and prepare for life with the 90 game schedule that requires at least two years at the college level. Then, if they can survive and compete, they can be drafted onto NBA teams. The G-League should only be a minor league of sorts that funnels players on and off of rosters as needed after they have been in the second tier league. The NBA has become diluted, in my opinion, with players who are not worthy of that level and/or compensation. As the game changes, players have become less involved in the dynamics of the sport and more about the spectacle of the moment. It has now trickled down to the college level where the team is less important than the individual, witnessed by these reactions to the new rules changes. It's making it hard for fans to support a program when the team is not truly a team that is committed to the effort of building and maintaining the program's history and reputation.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 5 months ago

You believe that the NBA has become diluted over the past how many years?

You're simply wrong. Just look at the rosters. There are players from around the world competing in basketball and you better be able to play if you want to make money in Europe. Also, look at all the modern training techniques that have come about in just that short amount of time. Modern medicine keeps better talent playing longer, nutrition, personal trainers year round, and it has steadily progressed. Don't even want to start with advanced analytics.

The Spectacle of the Moment: nothing angered me more than seeing players joking around while being blown out in the third quarter, close behind, I'm sure glad that everybody has so much love for everybody. As soon as I walked on campus, I just felt all the love and knew this was for me... blmah blah blah

Edward Daub 3 years, 5 months ago

Dubious Dubs - Last Call on 2019 NCAA Title

The Cavaliers and Tony "I believe in Miracles" Bennett!

A) Ty "Tie Game" Jerome excels when the shot clock dips below 10!

B) Virginia recruits the World. Jack Salt flew in from New Zealand!

C) They started Two red-shirts, Hunter and Diakite (not bad players)!

D) They only landed 1 McDonalds All American (Kyle Guy)!

The Red Raiders and Chris "Clean Shaven" Beard!

E) Aha, we have Zero McD AA's, our guys simply eat at McD's!

F) Culver was only a 3 star prospect and #80 in the ESPN Top 100!

G) Two Senior grad transfers Owens and Mooney were pivotal to success!

H) Moretti from Bologna, Italy likes "bier battered" fried Bologna!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! KU!

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 5 months ago

No. That was when Preston showed off his driving skills.

Robert Brock 3 years, 5 months ago

Sign Harlond Beverly and things will be better (assuming Dotson returns).

David Howell 3 years, 5 months ago

Bad advisor's or were the coaches telling these kids how good they were all year ?!

Brian Skelly 3 years, 5 months ago

I think we're looking at a KU team missing the tournament if this kid goes pro. Along with all the other defections, it's hard to see whats left. Another season of Freshmen with to much playing time.

Barry Weiss 3 years, 5 months ago

Damn, there is a legit chance we lose him. I am happy for him though, a great first year in the history of Kansas Jayhawks.

Ron Yates 3 years, 5 months ago

There is no way Devon Dotson is NBA-ready. His shooting--especially from beyond the arc--is not there. He is not a great defender. He needs to follow in the footsteps of people like former KU guards Frank Mason who went from scoring 5.5 points a game as a freshman to scoring 20.2 when he won National Player of the Year in his fourth year at KU.or Devonte Graham who ran the team in 2017-18. They not only became great guards, they earned their degrees too--which is supposedly what college athletics is all about. I predict Dotson will be back after the realities of the NBA hit him. Another year at the helm of KU's team will only benefit him.

Brad Avery 3 years, 5 months ago

Right you are. Dotson is not ready, but neither are Dawson, Grimes (especially) or Dok and they are still or probably going, at least for now.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 5 months ago

What do you think it must be like in Kentucky's locker room or Duke's or North Carolina's or many other teams. We finally forced the FBI to finally take action and guess what?

There was a hell of a lot more skeletons hiding in the closets.

Andy Godwin 3 years, 5 months ago

Devon was a great surprise (outside the KU inner circle) and he and Dedric clearly were the team leaders. What impressed me most is the way he finished with contacted around the basket. I can’t remember a freshman guard who was this good at finishing at the rim. Frank and Sheron were “bulldogs” and did not shy away from contact, but I don’t remember that they were this good from the get go. I always complained that Wiggins was a very poor finisher with contact even though he was one of the most athletic players to suit up at KU (seemed more concerned about protected his body than playing through contact). Clearly Dotson has no fear and that is what makes him so exciting to watch. His outside shooting clearly needs to improve, but his speed and fearlessness will take him far. He was truly a bright spot on the 2018-2019 team, I just hope we get to see a lot more of him in crimson and blue.

Craig Carson 3 years, 5 months ago

he'll be back,,this seems like he is just getting info on the things he needs to focus on improving..he isnt on anyones draft board for either round.

Bee Bee 3 years, 5 months ago

This ONE and DONE B S needs to go. Either players go pro after high school or they re in college for FOUR. Period.

Lawrence McGlinn 3 years, 5 months ago

I was watching the ticker on the bottom of the screen on ESPN. Dotson is rated #72. The only player declaring who is lower is Grimes at 80. I guess they could make some money in Europe or Israel, or wherever. They both had their moments this year, but not many. I get the feeling Dotson comes back. Dunno about Grimes.

Bj Cassady 3 years, 5 months ago

I was watching the 2007 game KU vs UT and talk about a team: Darrel Arthur, S Khan, Darnel Jackson, Julian Wright, M Chambers, Russel Robinson, S Collins, Brandon Rush talk about loaded for bear. They ran, played tough defense, were very physical. Nothing like the 2018-19 team.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 5 months ago

This moment makes me proud to be a Jayhawk:

I remember the great times when Joel feigned a back injury to protect his draft status, and Kelly refused to go to the floor for a loose ball vs. WSU and that one shining moment when "Wiggs" stood frozen in the corner for 40 minutes against that almighty powerhouse known as Cardinal Basketball. And those elegant basketball displays of Billy, Cliff, Josh and Cheick (did I spell that right? He was here so long, I'm surprised I don't remember). What kid, growing up in the "teens" will ever forget these all-time greats, their commitment to Kansas basketball and to the university. Oh, the nostalgia.

When a one-year dynamo like Devon is as good as it gets in Kansas Basketball, then you know you've simply given in to the dark side. Or you like being a laughingstock, and spending time defending it.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 5 months ago

We didn’t create the rules we’re just playing by them like everyone else. I don’t like what college basketball has become but until the NBA decides to change the way they do business it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

Matt Gauntt 3 years, 5 months ago

With all of the Hawks declaring for the NBA, it got me curious. So, I did a little research on the 2018 underclassmen that declared for the NBA.

Of the 181 that declared, 38 (21%) regularly played in the NBA, 36 (20%) played G-League or Overseas, with maybe a game or two in the NBA, 95 (52%) returned to college, and 12 (7%) did not get drafted an couldn't find any info on them.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 5 months ago

Wonder how many of the 38 who made it in the NBA will still be playing in a couple of years.

Matt Gauntt 3 years, 5 months ago

It's kind of interesting going through all the young men that are seeking to play. There is this whole subgroup that seem to be so desperate to "make it" that they can't be patient and go back to school. They end up making $35k in a G-League assignment hoping and hoping to get the call up. Some might get a one game call up and then go right back to the G-League. It makes me wonder if they could have really made it by waiting another year in college to get the minutes and the training. I have to think that the training that they get from a top notch college coach is better than a has-been G-League coach.

Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 5 months ago

Devonte was sent down to the G-League for a number of games and he was basically heads and shoulders better than most of the other players who were on the court. This should tell these kids something. Where was Devonte in the draft and his talent allowed him to be so much better than guys who were struggling in the G-League just to survive in that world? Even making it through the Combine and possibly on a Summer League team will expose the need for more coaching and development that they were fortunate enough to have had in Bill Self.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 5 months ago

30 teams and a 12 man active roster. The NBA just can't accommodate all the basketball talent that exists. And unlike before, some of that talent is coming from places outside the U.S.

Tim Ashe 3 years, 5 months ago

Although I do think he returns next year, this would be a tremendous hit to our chances of doing anything next year. Dotson was the glue and very impressive all year. I was hoping Grimes would leave, we knew Dedric and Dok would leave, but Dotson too? Please no!!

Tracey Graham 3 years, 5 months ago

The 2020 mock drafts that I've seen all had Dotson as a late 1st round pick. So I could see him being told he could be a late 1st round pick in the 2019 draft, and him staying in the draft.

Lawson is projected as a late 2nd round pick, but he probably won't return because he's likely to be a 2nd round pick next year as well. Grimes, on the other hand, should return, since he went from potential lottery pick to not even being mentioned in mock drafts. With a good season in 2019-20, he could get back into the first round. So coming back to KU could work in his favor.

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