Wednesday, May 29, 2019

He’s Back: Kansas point guard Devon Dotson announces return to KU

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) inbounds the ball during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) inbounds the ball during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.


With exactly three hours remaining before the deadline for underclassmen to pull their names from the NBA draft pool, Kansas freshman Devon Dotson did exactly that.

The KU point guard announced his decision to return to Kansas for his sophomore season on Twitter at 7:59 p.m., saying simply, “Got a whole lot more in store. Year 2. Let’s Riiiiddeeeee!”

Just for good measure, Dotson added the hashtag #UnfinishedBusiness.

And with that, Bill Self and company win arguably their biggest recruiting battle of the offseason, landing a player who many believe will be a preseason first team all-Big 12 selection and one of the top point guards in college basketball during his second season in Lawrence.

The news came just minutes after a report from 247 Sports’ Evan Daniels that indicated that fellow-KU freshman Quentin Grimes had also withdrawn his name from the draft pool.

"Devon called me about 7 p.m. this evening to confirm he was withdrawing from the NBA Draft and will be returning to KU," Self said in a news release. "The process did what it was supposed to do, which allows players to participate, be seen and receive feedback. After visiting with his family multiple times, Devon came to the conclusion that it was in his best interest to return to school. We feel like we have a very high draft pick in next year's draft returning as our point guard."

At the time of Dotson’s announcement time, there had been no word from Grimes’ camp about what that meant for Grimes’ future. At 8:15 p.m., however, KU released a statement from Self announcing that Grimes had decided to transfer.

“We initially anticipated him staying in the draft," Self said in the release. "But he and his family decided to return to college but not return to the University of Kansas. We totally support and respect Quentin and his decision and wish him the very best moving forward."

As for Dotson, he played in 36 games with the Jayhawks during his freshman season — all of them starts — and averaged 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while running the offense and playing big minutes almost every night.

His relentless style and unmatched speed with the ball often 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.

His decision to declare for the NBA draft and test his status came with an NBA combine invitation and weeks of information gathering and contemplation about his future.

As recently as Tuesday night, Dotson’s father, Dana Dotson, told the Journal-World that the bottom line for his son was where NBA folks were telling him he would be drafted.

That feedback proved invaluable during the Dotson family's decision-day discussions Wednesday.

Wednesday night, Dana Dotson, offered a glimpse into the family's day during an interview with the Journal-World.

"Today went well," Dana said. "Let him sleep some and then we just did a full recap. We talked about all the feedback about him as a player and a person. We talked about what we all learned from the process. Then we talked about both paths, along with the pros and cons this year. We compared that to the risks and benefits of returning to Kansas. It was a long talk, but the choice became clear when we fast-forwarded one year and talked about worst-case, most likely and best-case scenarios."

According to Dana Dotson, those discussions and that clarity led Dotson back to Kansas.

"Kansas provides the ideal place for him to continue to enhance his leadership abilities under Coach Self while developing his skills as a player and teammate while playing on one of, if not the largest stages in college basketball," Dotson's father told the Journal-World.

From his perspective, Dana said he was incredibly proud of his son's maturity and open-mindedness throughout the past six weeks with so much at stake.

"I think it was a very well-informed decision," Dana said. "And I am excited for the 2019-20 season. Devon couldn't leave Lawrence without a championship. Not KU."


Rick Willard 3 years, 4 months ago

Devon, Silvio, Dok, and Grimes all in the lineup next year? We'll be Top 3 in the preseason rankings, and certainly favored to return to the top of the Big 12. RCJH!!!

Dale Rogers 3 years, 4 months ago

No Grimes. He's transferring. See the short comment in this article.

Rick Willard 3 years, 4 months ago

Yep. Just back online after limited time tonight. Grimes transferring is really strange. If he's the pro talent he thinks he is, he should just come back to Kansas, show us all his talents as a sophomore, and go right back into the draft next year. He and HCBS must not see eye-to-eye. Good luck, QG.

Brian Wilson 3 years, 4 months ago

If I had to guess....Several reasons:

Grimes OAD approach backfired, coming back he would have to face up to not only himself but to everyone else. Something that could have been productively humbling.

Grimes needs to play PG in the NBA and is not getting that opportunity at Kansas and it appears he may be lacking the speed for either guard position. A year's practice to work on it couldn't hurt.....and his decision to stay in college as opposed to G to Euro ball may be revealing.

John Strayer 3 years, 4 months ago

Uhhhh....who is going to shoot the ball in this group??? Expect all defenses to clog the lane against KU and daring the Jayhawks to shoot 3 pt baskets.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

Dok, Silvio, and Dotson almost feel like getting new recruits in some way. This year's recruitment would have been a disaster but Self always seems to get high-quality players on the court.

Dyrk Dugan 3 years, 4 months ago

Rick, Grimes is gone; announced to go into the transfer portal.

Welcome back Devon! Go Jayhawks!

Rick Willard 3 years, 4 months ago

Yep. Just back online after limited time tonight. Grimes transferring is really strange. If he's the pro talent he thinks he is, he should just come back to Kansas, show us all his talents as a sophomore, and go right back into the draft next year. He and HCBS must not see eye-to-eye. Good luck, QG.

Tom Jones 3 years, 4 months ago

No, he just wants to play PG like he'll be playing at the next level.

Daniel Parker 3 years, 4 months ago

Rick Grimes is gone...but he'll do some TWD movies

Bryce Landon 3 years, 4 months ago

Did I or did I not say Devon wasn't ready for the NBA yet? Good thing for him he understands that and is coming back to Kansas where he belongs!

Welcome back, Devon!

Oh, and your hashtag is #UnfinishedBusiness, is it? Should be #JayhawksRevengeTour2020

Robert Brock 3 years, 4 months ago

Whew! Close call. Welcome back, Devon - you are The Man!

The 2019-2020 Hawks are suddenly looking mighty GOOD.

Len Shaffer 3 years, 4 months ago

Thank God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (And by God, I mean the great Jayhawk God, of course.)

Ben Berglund 3 years, 4 months ago

I was starting to get nervous. We're looking pretty stacked all of a sudden for next year. Rock Chalk!

Lex Valdez 3 years, 4 months ago

Boom! Welcome back Devon... Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Mike Riches 3 years, 4 months ago

Fantastic news! Beyond the raw stats, Devon brings so many intangibles to next year's team (leadership, grit, fearlessness, etc.) If Dok and Silvio can both stay healthy, Dotson could average close to ten assists per game.

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 4 months ago

Good thing I wore my lucky socks again.

KU has a great team next year and a lot of PT to offer for 2020.

Drew Doerfler 3 years, 4 months ago

this was HUGE! welcome back just work on a quick release jumper.....

Drew Doerfler 3 years, 4 months ago

so we have 3 open scholarships still? ouch, that's a lot......and not much of anything is left in high school or transfers.....hopefully self can find something because that is alot of scholarships to leave open

RJ King 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes, but 10 is enough to practice, and Self rarely ever gets to the 9th guy. Nice for serious foul trouble or injury insurance though.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 4 months ago

Here's hoping Dollar Bill can pull his head out of his a** this year and start coaching the team he has. Starting QG for the season when it wasn't earned might have sent a message to other players on the team. Don't perform? But you are an OAD? You will start, young man!! Even if it means giving up the streak and getting curb-stomped by another cheating head coach in the tournament.

Dollar Bill doesn't deserve this gift, but he's been given it. Maybe he can step up and actually coach in the coming year. You have the dunk master. Two high-energy guys in Silvio and D Mack (you all remember him, right?). And a bunch of talented guys who couldn't beat K-State last year under your leadership?

Self needs to be the guy that this roster deserves. Figure it out. You earn more than $5 million a year to get it done. Get it done.

Jay Scott 3 years, 4 months ago


Whatever you were doing was working. Better meds, relaxation techniques, some herb, more frequent were so much more emotionally sound and then this. Boom.Another deranged rant.

Go back to what you were doing before.

Tom Jones 3 years, 4 months ago

forgot that things in between < and > don't show up on here unless you leave a space before/after them...

Original post: < facepalm >

Glen Miller 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe you should coach this team. It's obvious you know what it takes to guide a National Championship winning team, maybe 14 straight conference titles, or maybe even the best winning percentage in Phog Allen of any coach. No? How about countless All-Americans, 1st team All-conference or 1st round draft picks..... What about the Hall of Fame, are you enshrined there? I think coach knows what he's doing. We can't be great every year, but under him we haven't really had a "down" year. I think you're letting your emotions get the best of you sir.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe. I never thought he gave Cunliffe enough time to get any confidence. I know I should mind my own business but don't let your feud with Jay color your opinions on the basketball program.

Bill got damn lucky but Bill also found a forward who traveled up 61 points to get his final rankings. Same with Ochai and Garrett, who had both shown to be far better than their rankings would indicate. I personally thought that next year could be a disaster if Dotson or Dok or both decided to stay in the draft.

Getting Silvio feels almost as if we had the #1 player coming in next season.

Bill Kackley 3 years, 4 months ago

Brett, I feel the same way about Grimes but come on man that was wrong the way you dished Coach Self. Can tell you have never been a coach.

Stuart Corder 3 years, 4 months ago


Dotson - McBride Garrett - Braun OgBaji - Enaruna De Sousa - Lightfoot Dok - McCormack we have 3 scholarships remaining?

  • Jalen Wilson
  • Tavin Mack (Sr. Alabama transfer shooter)
  • Jordan Brown (would have to sit out 1 year)

RJ King 3 years, 4 months ago

If we get those, or others, we will see 1-2 red-shirts.

Mike Greer 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh, I just can't wait to see the responses to such a ridiculous post! We have a hall of fame coach, with Big XII titles 14 of his sixteen seasons, a recent final four, championship appearances and a championship, and you call him out like he's a dirt bag. Just who the hell do you think you are, not a Jayhawk, that's for sure.

Barry Weiss 3 years, 4 months ago

Super news! I would take him in a heartbeat over ANY recruit. This is huge!

Ben Berglund 3 years, 4 months ago

Knowing Dotson is coming back, let's consider the starting 5. I'm thinking Dotson, Agbaji, Enaruna, De Sousa, Doke. Should our main recruiting priority at this point be at the 3? Do we still have 3 scholarships?

RJ King 3 years, 4 months ago

I thought Enaruna is more of a forward at 6-8"?. I'm thinking that Self sticks with Garrett as the 3rd guard. But it's nice to have all kinds of options from going small to big.

Jay Scott 3 years, 4 months ago

News flash. Marcus Garrett played max minutes last season when healthy. He's among the best defenders in the nation and manages the ball flawlessly. Some frosh isn't going to take his spot.

Rae Bricil 3 years, 4 months ago

Agreed--Newell was projecting the same:

PG Devon Dotson G Ochai Agbaji G Marcus Garrett PF Silvio De Sousa C Udoka Azubuike

Bench: David McCormack, Tristan Enaruna, Mitch Lightfoot, Christian Braun, Issac McBride

Good line up--extremely athletic. Curious how the lack of a shooters will play out. Dotson started looking good at the end of the year. Och had good stretches.

Jim Stauffer 3 years, 4 months ago

That lineup will have to play power ball because you only have one shooter and he is a bit iffy. This should be an interesting season. We have a power roster to play in a day and time when small fast break offenses rule the day.

Jay Scott 3 years, 4 months ago

Dotson, Baj and Garrett aren't fast? Have you seen De Sousa run the floor?

Drew Doerfler 3 years, 4 months ago

we need shooters......with abagi, dotson and Garrett out there, all teams have to do is pack a zone in very tight to limit Azuibuike and stop Dotson's drives....all of a sudden KU has no offense at all......Enaruna will start if he can play d and hit 3's...Garrett will come off the bench when needed...unless he learns how to shoot during the off season

Dwayne Mudd 3 years, 4 months ago

Garrett is a stud. He started playing major minutes from the jump his freshman year for a reason. Long and athletic, can do some Keith Langford stuff scoring by driving lane, super good defender, tough, smart, and crafty. A good leader and spokesman. The only weakness in his game is his outside jumper. Hopefully that improves this year. He is a glue guy and a junior and a huge part of our team.

This comment didn't go where it was intended into a discussion above. Ooops. Don't have time to mess with moving it!

You get my point.....

Eric Dawson 3 years, 4 months ago

Still 3 rides left. SF Jalen Wilson visits this week. Still a couple of good shooting SGs in the grad transfer lanes (e.g., Jaevin Cumberland). Also some traditional transfers to consider for development. Also at least 2 other 2020 prospects considering reclassifying at end of summer - SG Kyree Walker and C N’faly Dante. Would love to get Walker, think he is going to be a star. Dante too, but given how stacked the front court will be next season I’m hoping he doesn’t reclassify so we can get him in next time around.

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 4 months ago

Great news! Hopefully Dotson realizes by now what he needs to improve on after spending time at the combine. I'm looking forward to watching Dare-Devil Dotson v2.0 whatever you wanna call him, but a quicker, lighter, better shooter, better ATO PG. #Unfinishedbusiness - #RockChalk!

Steve Quatrocky 3 years, 4 months ago

Welcome Back Devon!! We love you and are a model of how to explore your options at the combine under the new rules. Demonstrated that you want feedback, are coachable, and dedicated to reaching your ceiling, not just getting by on the high school hype. Thats a lot of maturity for a young man.

RJ King 3 years, 4 months ago

How cool is his Dad??? Those comments were smart and classy. Looks like the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

Chad Smith 3 years, 4 months ago

Starting 5? Not even sure but:

Doke De sousa Garrett Agbaji Dotson

Defensively that's a fantastic lineup. Offensively, remains to be seen with Garrett and agbaji most needing to step up and score. Mac and Lightfoot off the bench we know will be solid. Enaruna will probably play the 3, and is more perimeter oriented, then Braun and McBride backing up the guard spots. Interesting..

Dwayne Mudd 3 years, 4 months ago

Hopefully Braun comes in with a wet jumper (to quote JoJo) something similar to how Conner Teahan came out of the gates his freshman year by hitting every shot he took!! We need some shooters man!!!

Jonathan Allison 3 years, 4 months ago

Did Conner Teahan even get up off the bench in his first 3 years on campus? As far as I can recall his Zac Efron impersonation was his most memorable moment until around his Junior season. Maybe he did shoot 100% as a freshman, on 1 out of 1 shooting. I loved Conner as an upperclassmen, it was a testament to his work ethic, his always ready attitude, and a pure stroke that he played such a key role as an upperclassmen. That and some recruiting misses by HCBS.

Dwayne Mudd 3 years, 4 months ago

I can't remember for sure but I believe he made something like 10 3's in a row to start his career. He just made every shot he got a chance to take in mop up time. It was fun to watch. Then he became a solid player for us....

Mike Greer 3 years, 4 months ago

I know, Agbaji only had two 20 point games in less than half a season. He seemed to tighten up when he felt the team on his shoulders. But he was hot when there was less pressure.

Do some of you guys even watch the games?

Drew Doerfler 3 years, 4 months ago

I have a feeling Enaruna will start if he can play defense and hit 3's.......a lineup of Dotson, Agbagi, and Garrett is a pretty poor shooting backcourt. Dotson can hit wide open 3's, but takes forever to get into his shooting motion. Agbagi can hit a 3 but i wouldn't call him a shooter as of now....and Garrett.....well Garrett still can't hit the broad side of a barn with his shot. all teams would have to do is pack a zone in tight taking away Azubuike, Silvio, and Dotson and Garrett's drives and KU would really struggle to order for Azubuike and Dotson to thrive, you need 3 point shooters to space the floor and open up the lanes....

Joe Norton 3 years, 4 months ago

KU will be one of the best defensive teams in the country next year with Dok and Silvio getting all the rebounds. The guards will be able to play a lot stronger now that they have support behind them.

Also, you got a great fast break team with Dotson, Obaji, and Garett.

Jay Scott 3 years, 4 months ago

None of that matters, don't you know? The only thing that counts in college basketball, according to the Chicken Littles, is 3 point shooting.

Jay Scott 3 years, 4 months ago

Tevin Mack is interesting. Can he defend? He's listed variously at 6'6-7 and 225 lbs. That's solid. Is he quick enough to switch and handle a PG? What has he learned in stints with two coaches who generally run a playground offense. It seems like he never actually spoke to Nate Oats, the new 'Bama coach.

Something tells me the offensive and defensive strategies and personal style of HCBS might not mesh with Mack. Michigan, for one seems like they have more playing time desperation and and might seem like a better fit. Mack seems attracted to shiny new coaches with hype.

Dale Stringer 3 years, 4 months ago

The only sure starters I have are Dotson Silvia and Dok. Agbagi and Garrett haven't proven to me that they can be reliable scorers any more than the new freshmen. I'll even though Teahan into getting a chance, if he gets his college speed and can guard decently. He does have the highest 3pt percentage on the team, even though it was with a tiny sample size.

Brian Skelly 3 years, 4 months ago

I wonder if I entered the transfer portal if I'd ever be heard from again?

Kit Duncan 3 years, 4 months ago

For the Marcus Garrett haters here is a highlight video of his senior season in high school. He was a stud! Possibly coming to KU with as loaded a lineup as they usually have rocked him back on his heels a little, but Marcus has the ability to channel Wayne Seldon, (and I bet he does) this season!

Doug Aitken 3 years, 4 months ago

I thought I had the capacity to love everyone. Then I read a post from Brett McCabe.

Larry Phillips 3 years, 4 months ago

The Jayhawks will be interesting to watch next year, and I predict they will once again domninate the Big XII. For a change they will have some players that have stuck around for a few years. I am referring to Doke, Lightfoot, Garrett, and I would even put De sousa into that category. With Dotson coming back that will give us even more experience coming back. Someone will have to step up and be a shooter.

I just never have been a fan of OADs and I see no reason to try to stay up with UK in the OAD department. For someone like me who has no chance of ever getting a ticket to an Allen FH game, it is easier to become really attached to a team when you have so many returning significant players.

I think next year will be a great season for the Jayhawks!

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