Dozier Staying in Draft, Ending Gamecocks Career
Five days after PJ Dozier announced his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft, word leaked Monday that he’ll be staying there.
The Spring Valley alum and former high school All-American is reportedly signing with an agent, ending his collegiate eligibility, and turning pro.
The news was first reported by The Vertical.
The Gamecocks’ 6’6″ guard said last week he would go to the Association’s Draft Combine in May without signing an agent, get a better feel for his stock by testing the league’s waters. He would have had ten days from the end of workouts (May 9-14) to decide on making the jump or coming back to Columbia for his junior campaign.
Reports state that USC’s second-leading scorer from the 2016-17 season made his choice to go all in on the NBA over the weekend.
In a very deep class, especially at the point guard position, Dozier is currently projected as a second-round pick or is completely off mock boards at the moment.
He averaged 13.9 points per game and led the team with 2.8 assists during the year. In the NCAA Tournament, the hometown star raised his play, putting up 15.6 points on average in the Gamecocks’ magical run to the Final Four.
The former garnet and black playmaker shot 41 percent from the field in his second season, 29.8 percent from three, and 59.7 percent from the free throw line.
With Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice graduating, USC is now losing three of their top four leading scorers. Chris Silva is set to return as the leading contributor to the team, putting up 10.2 a night in his sophomore season.
Thornwell is projected by many to a second-round selection in this year’s draft. He and Dozier could become the first Carolina alums to be selected since Renaldo Balkman was taken 20th overall in 2006 by New York.
Dozier posted to Twitter, linked to a lengthy Instagram post, thanking Gamecocks fans and reflecting on his decision to come to USC.
Here’s what Dozier wrote in his post:
“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.”