University of Kansas

Devon Dotson on returning to KU: ‘We’re looking to come out with a vengeance’

KU guard Devon Dotson on taking care of unfinished business

KU point guard Devon Dotson tested the NBA waters, but he and his family decided it was best for him to return to KU for his sophomore season to take care of some unfinished business after a disappointing ending to last year's season
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KU point guard Devon Dotson tested the NBA waters, but he and his family decided it was best for him to return to KU for his sophomore season to take care of some unfinished business after a disappointing ending to last year's season

Devon Dotson entered his name in the 2019 NBA Draft pool on April 12 fully intending to play basketball for a pro franchise during the 2019-20 season.

“I took it very serious. I was all-in to the process,” Dotson, Kansas’ 6-foot-2 sophomore point guard from Charlotte, North Carolina said Monday afternoon from Allen Fieldhouse, where he was preparing to lift weights, then work out in front of KU coach Bill Self’s basketball campers.

After attending the NBA Combine in Chicago, a Pro Day in front of 30 NBA scouts in California and participating in individual workouts with eight NBA teams all over the country, Dotson withdrew from the draft on May 29.

He’s back at KU for summer school armed with a list of things to work on his sophomore season as expressed to him by NBA front-office officials.

“I would say just focus on my outside shot, creating space for my shot, different ways getting into it, better decision making on the court, (be) quicker,” said Dotson. He was informed by the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee he’d likely be a second-round pick if he remained in the June 20 draft.

Dotson said it was truly educational being evaluated a month and half by NBA officials.

“There were some fun things in there. At the end of the day it’s business. On that side, it’s all about professionalism,” said Dotson. He averaged 12.3 points and 3.5 assists a game his freshman season at KU. “It’s the real world. Going through that experience was very beneficial for me. It’s the real world now. It really helped out a lot.”

Dotson hopes natural development will turn him into a certain first-round selection in the 2020 NBA Draft. He hopes to enter that draft on the heels of winning the Big 12 and NCAA title at KU.

“I mean I’m excited about the season. We have some really great pieces this year,” Dotson said. “I’m looking forward to what we have in store. We have some business we didn’t take care of last year. We’re looking to come out with a vengeance here.

“I can’t be the one who doesn’t win anything here,” added Dotson. The Jayhawks placed third in the Big 12 regular-season last season, lost in the Big 12 Tournament title game, then fell in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

“That’s the big goal of all our our players, including myself,” he added of winning an NCAA crown.

Dotson — he said he’s completely focused on college, not the NBA after removing his name from the draft pool — plans on being a team leader in 2019-20.

“Last year I was just coming in trying to learn everything, getting a feel for it. This year I’m looking to lead and just be that guy on the floor that can really help everybody else out there,” Dotson said.

“It helps a lot, me coming in (last year as a freshman) and Coach believing in me, sticking with me. It helps a lot in going into this year. I know what needs to be done out there on the court. I know what it takes to win out there at a high level. I’m ready.”

Self obviously is happy to have his point guard back for another season.

“I think he can challenge for Big 12 player of the year, I absolutely do,” Self said of Dotson last week in Andy Katz’s March Madness NCAA.com podcast. “He has to shoot the ball more consistently. The reality is there’s few out there that can match his speed or his toughness. He’ll be as hungry as ever now that he went through the process. They (NBA officials) basically told him, ‘Hey you need to improve on some things,’ which is good feedback. That is what it’s designed to do.

“Devon is really motivated to get that done. I do think when you talk All-American or whatever he has to be in the conversation. I know there’s others out there that do as well. I think he’ll take a big step from an intangible standpoint from his freshman to sophomore year.”

Dotson, by the way, is switching his jersey number from No. 11 to No. 1 his sophomore year at KU. He’d worn No. 1 all his life prior to arriving in Lawrence.

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