With PJ Dozier’s NBA Draft decision, he knew only one way to go

 

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

CHICAGO – It didn’t come to P.J. Dozier in a dream or from any one bit of advice from a person within his circle.

The decision was his, and his alone. On April 17, just four days after declaring for the NBA Draft with the caveat that he could come back to South Carolina, Dozier opted to sign with an agent and dive fully into the process.

Being completely invested was the only way to go for someone who describes himself as “an either-you’re-going-to-do-it-or-not kind-of guy.”

“It was really just on me,” Dozier said Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine. “I had my supporting cast, my family, my coaches. They allowed me to make my own decisions. They definitely helped me throughout the process and let me know how they felt about each decision that I was making.

“Ultimately, they left it up to me,” he said. “I was ready to be all in and try to make this next step.”

Dozier signed with BDA Sports Management, headed by agent Bill Duffy, and left Columbia the next day to begin training in Santa Barbara, Calif.

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Report: USC’s PJ Dozier signs with an agent, will ‘fully commit’ to NBA career

wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina

By Jeremy Turnage, Digital Content Manager – Source Article

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – After declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft and not signing with an agent, University of South Carolina sophomore PJ Dozier is now being represented by an agent, according to a report.

Source: TheBigSpur.com

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting Dozier has signed with an agent ahead of the draft. 

The decision to “fully commit” to a career in the NBA came over the weekend, the report said.

Dozier had initially not signed with an agent. That allowed him to return to the Gamecocks’ basketball program if he chose not to enter the draft.

“I want to thank my family, Coach Martin, my teammates and our amazing fans at South Carolina for the support that I’ve received thus far in my time as a Gamecock,” Dozier said in a statement after his intentions to enter the draft. “After talking with my family and Frank following our time at the Final Four, I’ve made the decision to submit my name for the Draft, but I’ve not hired an agent. I’m looking forward to continuing to grow my game and the Draft process.”

Dozier started in all 36 games for the Gamecocks and was the team’s second-leading scorer averaging 13.9 points per game. The sophomore led the Gamecocks in assists with 101 on the year while finishing second on the teams with 60 steals. 

Top 10 finish for Frank Martin’s Gamecocks

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

he South Carolina basketball team finished inside the final USA Today Coaches Poll after the Gamecocks’ historic run to the Final Four.

USC (26-11) is No. 6 in the final ranking that was released Tuesday. The Gamecocks were the biggest riser from the previous USA Today poll, climbing 31 spots.

National champion North Carolina is No. 1, followed by Gonzaga, Oregon, Kansas and Kentucky.

As for next season, Sports Illustrated picked the Gamecocks No. 18 in its way-too-early Top 25, saying, “It will be easier for the Gamecocks to avoid a Final Four hangover if sophomore guard P.J. Dozier returns. Freshman guard Rakym Felder showed his considerable potential during the tournament as well.”

Dozier is still deciding whether or not to make an early leap to the NBA.

South Carolina’s national champion women’s basketball team (33-4) locked up the No. 1 spot in the season-ending USA Today poll.

South Carolina guard P.J. Dozier discusses his timetable on possibly declaring for NBA Draft.  lbezjak@thestate.com

PJ Dozier’s USC Decision Paying off at Final Four

By Sports Department (www.abccolumbia.com) – Source Article

Spring Valley alum PJ Dozier had plenty of options on where to play his college ball as an All-American in high school. But Columbia’s own chose to stay home at Carolina and has played a vital role in bringing the Gamecocks to the Final Four.

ABC Columbia Sports Director Mike Gillespie spoke with Dozier at University of Phoenix Stadium Thursday to discuss the decisions that lead him to USC and the first day for his team at the Final Four.

Dozier: ‘We’re a great team’ not a Cinderella

The Gamecocks are a Cinderella story to most, but PJ Dozier simply doesn’t see it that way.

By John Del Bianco – Source Article

Glendale, Az – As a No. 7 seed, South Carolina is certainly viewed as the Cinderella of the Final Four and in many eyes, the team is on one of the most improbable runs in recent NCAA Tournament history. Gamecocks guard PJ Dozier simply doesn’t see it that way.

“We consider ourselves a great team,” Dozier said. “We’re amongst the greatest teams here at the Final Four and we know anyone playing at this time of year, they’ve earned the right to be called a great team. We’re just glad we have the opportunity to have our name up there with them.”

Katie Dugan, 247Sports

After a Tournament-opening win over No. 10 seed Marquette to notch the program’s first Big Dance win since 1973, the Gamecocks rattled off wins against No. 2 seed Duke, No. 3 seed Baylor, and No. 4 seed Florida, which beat No. 8 seed Wisconsin that beat No. 1 overall seed and defending national champion Villanova.

The story can write itself in terms of the Gamecocks worthy of wearing the glass slipper. It’s a story they’re playing out on the court, but one Dozier said is the media’s job to write.

“That’s y’all guys’ job, to make it sound really good and we appreciate it,” Dozier said. “We leave it to y’all and focus on the next game at hand.”

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Dozier playing his best at the right time

P.J. Dozier discusses importance of his family and being able to share Final Four experience with them.lbezjak@thestate.com

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

GLENDALE, ARIZ. – He could barely walk normally when he woke up that morning and was nixed for the game at Kentucky that night. P.J. Dozier’s back felt like somebody shoved a porcupine in it.

He no longer has the back spasms, but his jump shot hasn’t returned. It took him a while to grasp it, but Dozier has, and is a big reason why South Carolina is in the Final Four.

South Carolina guard PJ Dozier (15) scores on a floater in the NCAA Tournament game against Florida. Gerry Melendez gmelendez@thestate.com

South Carolina guard PJ Dozier (15) scores on a floater in the NCAA Tournament game against Florida. South Carolina guard PJ Dozier (15) scores on a floater in the NCAA Tournament game against Florida. Gerry Melendez gmelendez@thestate.com “Yeah, just the coaching staff continues to tell me to stay aggressive, attack the rim,” Dozier said. “Being 6-6, 6-7, 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.”

Not much doubt about that.

Dozier’s aggressive approach has given the Gamecocks a multifaceted offense, one where teams can’t sell out anymore to double-team Sindarius Thornwell. Dozier can use that windmill frame of his to score from either side, and when defenders do match up with him, he keeps the ball extended until he can flip it off the glass for two, sometimes with an and-1 free throw coming.

The sophomore scored 21 against Marquette, 11 against Duke, 12 against Baylor and 17 against Florida. While Thornwell has no doubt been the guy who got the Gamecocks here, Dozier’s contributions can’t be ignored.

“We signed up to be in this position. To be amongst the great teams, as y’all would call them,” Dozier said. “So we know we have a team ourselves.”

The Columbia native who turned down power brokers to stay home and play for Frank Martin will have a decision to make next week. He’s a hot name on NBA Draft charts, and underclassmen now are able to work out for teams without losing their eligibility.

The moment everyone lets up shows why South Carolina is different

By Mike Vaccaro – New York Post – Source Article

“Don’t give anything away for free,” Dozier said later. “Play until they tell you to stop playing. That’s what this team has been about since Day 1.”

P.J. Dozier – Getty Images

You want to know why South Carolina took a blowtorch to your brackets, why an (alleged) football school out of an (alleged) football conference will be taking its No. 7 seed to Arizona with them while Duke and Kansas and Arizona and UCLA will be getting started with their lacrosse, outdoor track and softball seasons?

This one moment explains it all.

Eleven seconds left in the East Region final Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Gamecocks are up five, 75-70. Florida is looking to do anything to extend the game, and so Chris Chiozza — Friday night’s hero — darts to the basket, knowing that Carolina will certainly let him have the easy deuce because everyone — honestly, no lie; just about every basketball team on earth — would let him have the easy deuce.

Well: almost every team.

P.J. Dozier doesn’t play matador. He actually stepped in front of Chiozza, and then he stripped Chiozza, and then he fed teammate Duane Notice for a dunk. It was 77-70. It ended that way. It was as quintessential a South Carolina moment as the Gamecocks could have conjured.

“Don’t give anything away for free,” Dozier said later. “Play until they tell you to stop playing. That’s what this team has been about since Day 1.”

There were plenty of sentimental reasons to enjoy South Carolina’s splendid sprint through the East brackets, first in Greenville, S.C., then in Manhattan. The Gamecocks’ coach, Frank Martin, may be the most-liked coach among his peers in all of Division I; good luck finding anyone to say a discouraging word about him. And after four days, it was easy to understand why.

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