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”

South Carolina is the most stunning Final Four team in years, but it’s no Cinderella

By Chris Chase @FireChrisChase – Source Article (www.foxsports.com)

South Carolina checks all the boxes for an NCAA tournament Cinderella. The Gamecocks, riding three-straight upsets of Duke, Baylor and Florida, capped one of the most unlikely Final Four runs the sport has ever seen, winning the much-heralded East region with a 77-70 victory Sundayover their favored conference foes from Gainesville.

If that’s not the stuff of glass slippers, then maybe this is: In the past 10 days, South Carolina has won twice as many NCAA tournament games (not including meaningless consolation games)than they had in the school’s entire history.
Just because it looks like a Cinderella doesn’t mean it is, however.

A Cinderella is a team that makes the best of its limited resources to go on a deep run in March, defying odds, logic and stratum. The Gamecocks may have the first two, but not the third. They play in the SEC, a conference ruled by its football powerhouse programs (which help command a reported $2.5 billion television contract) but is top-notch in nearly every other sport too. They’re a major university with a budget big enough to pay Steve Spurrier and lure coach Frank Martin away from another power school. The baseball team has two national championships. The soccer teams are a perennial contender. Swimming, track and golf have produced champions. The school’s other basketball team made a Final Four two years ago. And while the football team is often a doormat, even they played for the SEC championship in 2010.

Continue reading “South Carolina is the most stunning Final Four team in years, but it’s no Cinderella”

South Carolina beats Baylor 70-50 to advance to Elite Eight

By JIM O’CONNELL, AP Basketball Writer – Source Article

South Carolina guard PJ Dozier (15) puts up a shot against Baylor guard Manu Lecomte (20) in the second half of an East Regional semifinal game of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Friday, March 24, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NEW YORK (AP) — Apparently South Carolina is getting the hang of winning NCAA Tournament games.

The Gamecocks, who hadn’t won a tournament game since 1973, got their third this year. One more and it’s on to the Final Four.

“It’s a great win for the program,” Gamecocks guard Duane Notice said. “It’s a good feeling when we continue to make history and I think once we get a taste of it, we kind of get addicted and want to continue doing it.”

Sindarius Thornwell scored 24 points and seventh-seeded South Carolina cruised past third-seeded Baylor 70-50 on Friday night in the East Regional semifinals, the Bears’ worst NCAA Tournament loss.

The Gamecocks (25-10) were in control from the middle of the first half on, mixing defenses and hustling all over the Madison Square Garden court to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time.

Continue reading “South Carolina beats Baylor 70-50 to advance to Elite Eight”

South Carolina’s PJ Dozier ‘not worried’ about possible NBA decision

South Carolina basketball plays Baylor on Friday and that’s what PJ Dozier is thinking about.

By Mike Wilson – SEC COuntry Staff – Source Article

The Gamecocks sophomore guard will have to make the decision between returning to school for his junior season or heading for the NBA after this year.

“Not worried about it at all right now,” Dozier said Tuesday. “We have one objective right now: To win games here. That’s why I came here. I came here to be a college basketball player and I’m really enjoying it. That’s where I’m at and I haven’t thought anything about that.”

Dozier is averaging 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game as a sophomore. He has been projected as a first-rounder for much of the season by NBADraft.net.

South Carolina tips off at Madison Square Garden at 7:29 p.m. Friday.

Gamecocks get the PJ Dozier performance they have been waiting to see

PJ Dozier had 21 points against Marquette on Friday night.

By Mike Wilson – SEC Country Staff – Source Article

GREENVILLE, S.C. — PJ Dozier looked a whole lot like PJ Dozier on Friday night and that’s a whole lot of good news for South Carolina basketball.

The Gamecocks sophomore guard had emphatic dunks, sharp cuts and silky jumpers going for him in USC’s 93-73 win against Marquette.

“The coaching staff continues to tell me to stay aggressive, attack the rim,” Dozier said. “Being 6-6, that’s what you have to do. You have to put pressure on the rim and I feel like that’s when I play my best basketball.”

He was playing that way in Greenville, scoring 21 points on 9 of 13 shooting to help fuel South Carolina’s 30-point turnaround against the Golden Eagles.

Dozier came out hot this season, averaging close to 16.0 points per game through the start of conference. But he has been up and down in the past six weeks after sitting out a game against Kentucky with back spasms. He has maintained it was a quick issue and has not impacted his play, but the way Dozier played Friday night hadn’t truly been seen since he was rolling through November and December. Continue reading “Gamecocks get the PJ Dozier performance they have been waiting to see”

Peaking at the right time, PJ Dozier integral part of USC’s win over Marquette

By Grace Raynor graynor@postandcourier.com – Source Article

GREENVILLE — Sindarius Thornwell started to laugh, as he sat next to PJ Dozier and Duane Notice.

It was Thursday, the three of them were at a press conference fielding question after question, and one reporter had just asked an open-ended question for any of them to answer ahead of South Carolina’s game with Marquette. All eyes naturally turned toward Thornwell.

“Everybody is going to look at me every question,” he joked. And then he began his answer.

From the first day of the season, the spotlight has always been on Thornwell, the Gamecocks’ unquestionable leader and the newly-minted SEC Player of the Year. Media focus on him. His teammates rely on him. Opposing defenses make him the priority. But on Friday, he got some major help.

In South Carolina’s 93-73 drubbing over Marquette at Bon Secours Wellness Arena, it was PJ Dozier who stole part of the show, racking up 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting in addition to the four rebounds and four assists he gave the Gamecocks.

Continue reading “Peaking at the right time, PJ Dozier integral part of USC’s win over Marquette”

PJ Dozier Named To 2017 SEC Community Service Team

Sophomore has been active in the community during his time at Carolina.

Source – http://www.gamecocksonline.com  – Original Article  

Columbia, SC – In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the SEC once again highlighted a Community Service Team for men’s basketball for the 2016-17 campaign, it was released on Thursday in advance of next week’s SEC Tournament in Nashville. South Carolina sophomore guard PJ Dozier has been named to the team this season.

Dozier has been very active in community outreach events during his two seasons at South Carolina. During his sophomore campaign, he has spent time at an area elementary school speaking to fourth and fifth graders and participated in a kick ball game. He has spent time with Special Olympics, helping to officiate and with scorekeeping at the Special Olympics State Tournament. He hosted a Q and A session and spoke to students at WA Perry Middle School in Columbia, while he also attended a Christmas party for residents from Epworth Children’s Home during the holiday season. Dozier delivered meals to those in need with the Meals on Wheels program, while he also helped serve dinner at Transitions. During the team’s foreign tour in Costa Rica, he joined his teammates for two events for area children, including an event with Special Olympics in San Jose. He also participated in the team’s annual 8K In 8 Days campaign, doing multiple events around the Columbia community with the City of Columbia, at the Brookland Baptist Empowerment Center, Special Olympics and he also visited with Veterans at the Dorn VA Medical Hospital.

Continue reading “PJ Dozier Named To 2017 SEC Community Service Team”