P.J. Dozier will take some time before making a decision about a possible jump to the NBA.
Dozier, a sophomore, has until April 23 to declare for the draft and can withdraw up until May 24. If he doesn’t decide to go to the NBA Draft,he could still take part in the NBA Draft combine, May 9-14, and withdraw following that. That rule was put in place last year.
“I haven’t really put any thought into it,” Dozier said Saturday following the Gamecocks’ season ending 77-73 loss to Gonzaga in the Final Four. “I’m pretty sure I will sit down with coach (Frank) Martin and my family and discuss what would be the best move for me.”
Last year, 162 NCAA and international players declared for draft, but 91 eventually withdrew, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford. Clemson standout Jaron Blossomgame was among the more notable players to attend last year’s combine before returning to the Tigers for his senior season.
Ford has Dozier ranked No. 32 on his 100 top NBA prospects list, and the former Spring Valley High star didn’t hurt his stock with a strong performance.
The 6-foot-6 Dozier led USC with 17 points, added nine rebounds and was a big part in the Gamecocks’ second-half comeback attempt. He scored six of his 12 second-half points during USC’s 16-0 run, as the Gamecocks took a 67-65 lead with 7:06 left.
“I just wanted to stay aggressive and attack the rim, take good shots. If you take good shots, your percentages go up,” Dozier said. “And it is been working during the whole tournament.”
Dozier scored in double figures in all five of the Gamecocks’ NCAA Tournament games, including 21 in the first-round win over Marquette. He had 17 against Florida and was named to the East Regional Final all-tournament team as the Gamecocks secured their first trip to the Final Four in school history.
“I’m just so proud of this team and what we were able to accomplish this season,” Dozier said. “Making it to the Final Four was such a huge goal and huge step from last year and the previous years before this. We couldn’t do it without the guys who came before us and established this culture.”