After going undrafted, USC’s Dozier lands free agent opportunity

BY LOU BEZJAK – lbezjak@thestate.com – Source Article

COLUMBIA, SC – P.J. Dozier will get a chance to play in the NBA. It will just be through the free-agent route.

Dozier wasn’t selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft. But according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the former Spring Valley and South Carolina standout will sign a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The news came early Friday morning, shortly after Dozier watched the draft with more than 100 friends gathered in Northeast Columbia.

“I have been through it before but there is still more to come. It’s not over,” Dozier said shortly after going undrafted. “I’m going to continue to get better and continue to push and see what God has in store for me.”


Dozier said he didn’t regret making the decision to leave USC early after helping the Gamecocks to their first Final Four. This setback will fuel him going forward, he believes.

“Only thing in my mind is to figure out what I got next and to continue to keep going,” Dozier said.

Dozier went and personally thanked each person who was left inside The Gala in Northeast Columbia. He and sister Asia Dozier also addressed the people who began to arrive around an hour before the draft started. Several USC dignitaries showed up, including university president Harris Pastides, women’s coach Dawn Staley and several USC men’s basketball players.

Dozier was second on the Gamecocks in scoring this season at 13.9 points per game. He played some of his best basketball in the NCAA Tournament, helping lead the Gamecocks to their first Final Four. He averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in USC’s five NCAA games.

Dozier worked out for the Lakers on June 9, along with USC teammate Sindarius Thornwell, who was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers after being drafted by Milwaukee.

Most NBA mock drafts had Dozier going in the second round. He worked out for around dozen teams and most NBA experts liked his upside and potential.

Dozier didn’t want to speculate why he wasn’t drafted, but there might have been questions about his back, which knocked him out of a game against Kentucky. He struggled shooting after that.

Dozier said earlier this month while working out for the Hornets that he worked with a back specialist and a shooting specialist at Peak Performance Project (P3) in California to get better.

“I’m not really sure. I’m not going to talk for them. I’m not really sure,” Dozier said. “Whatever it was, I’m going to continue to do my best to grind and prove them wrong. I’m definitely going to have that chip on my shoulder wherever I go to work out or work.”

Watch: PJ Dozier’s big dunk at NBA Draft Combine lands on SportsCenter Top 10

BY DWAYNE MCLEMORE – dmclemore@thestate.com – Source Article

Watch as South Carolina guard P.J. Dozier slams home a dunk on Friday during the five-on-five action at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

The dunk ranked No. 4 on the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 Plays for the day.

Dozier was 7-of-12 shooting for 15 points in Friday’s five-on-five game.

 

Pj Dozier Gets NBA Combine Invitation

By Joe Cook – wltx.com – Source Article

COLUMBIA, SC – Saturday PJ Dozier announced on his Instagram account that he received his official invite to the combine.

That means a couple of Gamecocks will be in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine. He joins his teammate and SEC Player Of The Year Sindarius Thornwell who also received invite to the event on Friday.

Dozier, a former Spring Valley Viking, had a breakout sophomore season averaging 13.9 points and led USC with 101 total assists to along with 4.8 rebounds per game in 36 starts. He posted 6.7 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game as a freshman.

Some draft sites have Dozier and Thornwell both going in the second round and others have Dozier going in the 1st round. Hopefully this combine will improve both of their stocks after leading South Carolina to their first Final Four appearance in school history.

The NBA Combine in May 9-14 in Chicago.

 

#BlessedAndHighlyFavored #GamecockNation #BossUp

A post shared by PJ Dozier (@dozier_kid) on

Dozier moves back into first round projection

The latest mock draft from NBADraft.net has a pair of Gamecocks heading to the same team.

By John Whittle – www.247sports.com – Source Article

Sophomore PJ Dozier slipped out of several draft projections including NFLDraft.net, the site that had him most prominently displayed at the midway point of the season then projecting him as a first round pick.

On Tuesday morning, the site posted its most recent mock draft and not only was Dozier back on the board, he was back in the first round slotted as the No. 24 pick overall to Orlando.

Katie Dugan, 247Sports

Dozier announced on April 12 that he would declare for the NBA Draft, but would not hire an agent, which would make him eligible to return to South Carolina next season provided he withdrew his name from consideration by June 12. Over the weekend, he had a change of heart and signed with an agent.

Continue reading “Dozier moves back into first round projection”

P.J. Dozier statement on NBA decision

BY DWAYNE MCLEMORE – dmclemore@thestate.com – Source Article

South Carolina basketball’s P.J. Dozier released the following statement via his Instagram page on Monday regarding his future.

“With the support of my family and Coaching Staff, I’m excited to continue to pursue my dreams and will be entering the 2017 NBA Draft and signing with an agent,” he wrote. “I can’t wait to continue to represent my program and University throughout my professional career.”

Here’s his full statement.

 

God has blessed me with so many opportunities and continues to do so! I’ve always been taught to capitalize on every opportunity! With the support of my family and Coaching Staff, I’m excited to continue to pursue my dreams and will be entering the 2017 NBA Draft and signing with an agent. I cannot express in words how much I appreciate everyone who has supported me thus far in my playing career. About two years ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life; to stay home and play for one of the greatest institutions with the best fans in the nation! I am so grateful for Coach Frank and my teammates for these last two years and for helping to set me up for future success on the next level. I wouldn’t have wanted to make history and share the Final Four experience with another group of individuals who I will forever consider family! Gamecock Nation you have been nothing short of amazing. You all put the “LIFE” in the Colonial Life Arena! I can’t wait to continue to represent my program and University throughout my professional career. #ForevertoThee #Blessed&HighlyFavored #MTCoM #Grateful

A post shared by PJ Dozier (@dozier_kid) on

P.J. Dozier decides to stay in draft, ends USC career

BY DAVID CLONINGER – dcloninger@thestate.com – Source Article

P.J. Dozier didn’t need a month to think about it.

He barely needed four days.

South Carolina’s sophomore point guard has signed with an agent and will remain in the NBA Draft, sources close to the team confirmed to The State on Monday. After making the expected decision to test the waters and keep his options open on Wednesday, Dozier fully committed to a professional career over the weekend.

Dozier confirmed the decision via his Instagram page Monday afternoon, saying: “With the support of my family and Coaching Staff, I’m excited to continue to pursue my dreams and will be entering the 2017 NBA Draft and signing with an agent. … I can’t wait to continue to represent my program and University throughout my professional career.”

Source – The State Newspaper

Continue reading “P.J. Dozier decides to stay in draft, ends USC career”

Report: Dozier will hire an agent, skip final two years at USC

According to a national report, South Carolina guard PJ Dozier will hire an agent and forego his final two years of college.

By John Whittle – www.247sports.com – Source Article

Katie Dugan, 247Sports

According to Adrian Wjnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo! Sports, sophomore PJ Dozier has decided to hire an agent foregoing his final two years of eligibility and will enter the NBA Draft.

Dozier announced last week that he would enter the NBA Draft and go through the scouting and combine process but would not hire an agent. According to the report, citing sources, Dozier made the decision over the weekend to remain fully in the NBA Draft.

WATCH: Dozier speaks on initial Draft decision

Dozier was second on the team this season with 13.9 points per game, while he also dished a team-high 2.8 assists, while pulling down 4.8 rebounds and collecting 1.7 steals per game. He played some of his best basketball of the season during NCAA Tournament action, posting 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, while connecting on 50.8 percent (33-65) of his attempts from the floor in helping the Gamecocks clinch their first ever berth in the Final Four, and first Tournament win since 1973.

Dozier led the Gamecocks in scoring in the national semifinal matchup versus Gonzaga, posting 17 points to go along with nine rebounds, two assists and two steals in 30 minutes of action.

The former McDonald’s Alll-American had until April 23 to declare early entry into the NBA Draft and until June 12 to remove his name unless he hired an agent. Once an agent is involved, his final two years of eligibility will be conceded.

The NBA Draft is set for June 22.

Sources: South Carolina guard P.J. Dozier signing with agent

P.J. Dozier averaged 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game as a sophomore. (Getty)

By Adrian Wojnarowski – The Vertical – Yahoo Sports – Source Article

After leading South Carolina to an improbable run to the Final Four, sophomore guard P.J. Dozier is signing with an agent and staying in the 2017 NBA draft, sources told The Vertical.

Dozier had planned to test his value through the predraft process, but made the decision to sign with an agent and fully commit to a professional career over the weekend, sources said.

Dozier, who is 6-foot-6, is considered a second-round pick and likely will be prepared to play NBA-level defense before he’ll contribute in the league offensively. Dozier averaged 15.6 points and shot 50 percent in the NCAA tournament. For the season, Dozier shot 28.5 percent on 3-pointers.

Dozier is joining a deep point-guard draft. For his sophomore season, Dozier averaged 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Dozier will consult with inner circle about future

PJ Dozier said after the Gamecocks’ Final Four loss that he hasn’t thought about his future and will have some conversations about it in the coming weeks.

Katie Dugan, 247Sports

By John Del Bianco  – Source Article

GLENDALE, Ariz. – South Carolina’s season came to an end on Saturday night in the Final Four against Gonzaga and now the biggest question of the Gamecocks offseason will be whether sophomore point guard PJ Dozier returns to school for his junior season or opts to turn pro.

Similar to what he said on March 21, he was uncommitted to either option after the the 77-73 loss to Gonzaga in the national championship semifinal. Talks with head coach Frank Martin and Dozier’s family will start in the coming weeks.

“I haven’t really put any thought into it. I’m pretty sure I’ll sit down with my coach and my family and discuss what would be the best move for me, but I haven’t really put too much thought into it,” Dozier said. “I’m probably going to go off what my family and coach says.”

The 6-foot-6 sophomore point guard has spent most of the season in the first round of NBA Mock Drafts. He can decide to test NBA waters, but with a new rule in 2016 can back out and return to school after working out for NBA teams.

Dozier likened the notion that players that apply for early entry and go through the NBA Combine can still withdraw their name shortly after and return to school.

“Not just me, but any underclassman that has the opportunity to go is a good opportunity for them,” Dozier said.

Below are multiple dates citing the deadline to be an early entry, the combine, the deadline to withdraw and the draft:

April 23rd NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline
May 9-15th NBA Draft combine in Chicago
June 12th NBA Draft Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline (17:00 ET)
June 22nd NBA Draft

Hometown Kid PJ Dozier is Guiding South Carolina’s Cinderella Run

By David Gardner – Staff Writer at BleacherReport.com – Source Article

(B/R Mag)

After the formalities—after he slips on the “CUT THE NET” T-shirt, after he gathers with his teammates for the trophy presentation on the dais, after he snips a section of the net and strings it around his hat—PJ Dozier sets off on his own path.

He isn’t lost, but he doesn’t know exactly where he’s going. First, he finds a teammate holding the East Regional trophy—which South Carolina had earned by defeating No. 10 seed Marquette, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Baylor and finally, on this Sunday afternoon, No. 4 Florida, giving the school its first Final Four berth—and pulls it into his chest.

“Oh yeah,” he says. “I’ll hold on to this for a while.” Then he lets a few fans find him, lowering his shoulders to slip into the camera frame for their selfies or throwing up four fingers for their Snapchat stories.

Then, as if he’s just remembered something he’d forgotten in another room, he 180s on the court and cuts through the maze toward the crowd.

PJ Dozier celebrates by cutting down the net after defeating Florida in the East Regional final on March 26, 2017.(Getty Images)

He high-fives his way through the fans standing courtside, slips between security guards at the bottom of the lower bowl and scales chairbacks till he reaches his destination: his family. Standing tall above the nearly dozen grandparents, parents, siblings and cousins who made the trip is Perry Dozier Sr., a former South Carolina forward and PJ’s father. Without a word, they embrace. And as PJ descends again toward the court, Perry yells, “I’m floating!”

As PJ makes his way at last toward the locker room, he finally finds the words to fit his feelings. “I’m blessed,” he says. “I’m living right now what every kid dreams about: playing for your hometown team and taking them further than they’ve ever been.”

Continue reading “Hometown Kid PJ Dozier is Guiding South Carolina’s Cinderella Run”