Spring Valley's P.J. Dozier Commits to Gamecocks
by DAVID CLONINGER
Original article -
November 12, 2014
Frank Martin has always stressed that his
team is a family.
The latest addition represents the old and
National Top-40 recruit P.J. Dozier decided
to continue the tradition on Wednesday when
he committed to South Carolina on the first
day of the early signing period. Dozier, a
6-foot-6 four-star guard rated the No. 34
player in the nation by Rivals.com, pledged
to Martin and became the latest member of
his family to don garnet and black.
“It’s good to say that I’m able to do that,”
Dozier said. “It’s just a blessing that my
family has been through there and set their
mark there, for me to come along and try to
TIM DOMINICK — tdominick(at)thestate.com
Dozier’s dad, Perry Sr., played at USC from
1986-88 and uncle Terry was there from
1986-89. Sister Asia is a junior guard for
the No. 2 USC women’s team. Son, nephew and
brother committed 30 years to the day from
when his father and uncle committed to USC.
P.J. chose the Gamecocks over Georgetown,
Louisville, Michigan and North Carolina. USC
confirmed his signing Wednesday afternoon.
He fills the one open scholarship the
Gamecocks had for next year (USC also has a
commitment from three-star forward Chris
Silva of New Jersey).
The latest Dozier to pick USC had USC at the
top of his list from the beginning, but
father and coach Perry Sr. wanted him to
look around. “I was kind of, a little
bothered by it, because I said, ‘You didn’t
give these other schools chances,’ ” Perry
Sr. said. “When he took these five visits,
he really loved them. At the end, he really
was confused, he just wasn’t sure, because
everybody had something to offer him.”
P.J. kept thinking of how much Martin had
impressed him. The Gamecocks haven’t won
many games recently, but Martin told Dozier
he could be the player that helped change
Plus, there was something P.J. felt that he
didn’t feel as strongly when he was wearing
maize, baby blue, red or navy blue.
“I think it’s just the trust issue – not
issue, but I trust that staff a whole lot
and I feel like I can reach my goals at the
University of South Carolina,” P.J. said. “I
think it was just the feel. I could see
myself there next year, and I think that was
the main thing.”
His family liked Martin and obviously knew
the school. With P.J. reaching out to his
sister any time he had a question, his
father got to know Martin a little better.
“Super guy. Super, super guy,” Perry Sr.
said. “His goals and the things that he’s
trying to do, I watch his staff and I watch
what they do off the court and I tell you
what, he’s got his program going in the
right direction, and it’s going to be even
P.J. made up his mind and kept it to
himself, claiming that he didn’t even tell
Martin. His concerns about feeling
comfortable, at home and at a program that
was on its way up had been alleviated.
“South Carolina wouldn’t be in the mix if I
didn’t feel like they had the coaches and
the players to (win),” he said. “I’m
definitely excited to play along with them
and try to get this thing going. First and
foremost, just trying to come in there and
make a big impact, get some wins under our
All that was left was to add a garnet cap
reading “Gamecocks” to his black suit and
light garnet bow tie.
Dozier is the fourth Top-100 player Martin
has signed at USC. Sindarius Thornwell (43)
and Demetrius Henry (100) are entering their
sophomore years while Marcus Stroman (94) is
a freshman. The Gamecocks also have senior
transfer Ty Johnson, who was rated 52nd in
the country when he signed with Villanova.
With Dozier joining, the Gamecocks turn
their eyes to Dreher’s Tevin Mack, the No.
77 prospect in the country. Mack will sign
at noon on Thursday and is choosing from
USC, Clemson, Virginia Commonwealth, Georgia
and defending national champion Connecticut.