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PJ Dozier declares for NBA Draft, but there’s a catch

Due to NCAA rules, it’s possible that he returns after all.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-South Carolina vs Gonzaga Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PJ Dozier has declared for the NBA Draft. The South Carolina sophomore guard, per a release from the university, will put his name in the hat for June 22’s event in New York.

But, there’s a catch. It doesn’t mean that he’s a lock to not return to South Carolina. That’s thanks to NCAA rules that allow him to change his mind if he feels that his draft prospects may not be favorable.

An underclassman normally has from April 11-29 to declare for the draft. However:

A student-athlete, his or her parents or the university’s professional sports counseling panel may negotiate with a professional sports organization without the loss of the student-athlete’s amateur status. However, a student-athlete who retains an agent will lose amateur status.

In other words, since Dozier hasn’t hired an agent, he can consult with one, attend the NBA Draft Combine (if invited), but return to South Carolina if he so desires since he’s still considered under “amateur status”. That’s good news. But if he doesn’t reverse his draft declaration and remove his name before May 24 (ten days after the NBA Draft combine ends), or if he hires an agent before then, he will see his final two years of eligibility go off the books.

It’s a way for underclassmen to test the waters and think through whether or not it’s best for them to continue on in college or turn pro. While it’s cut and dry for some players (i.e. Josh Jackson, Malik Monk, etc.), for others, it’s not as easy as a decision. And the very fact that we’re discussing PJ Dozier possibly being drafted tells you how far South Carolina basketball has come in the past few years: the last Gamecocks player to be selected was Renaldo Balkman in 2006 (20th overall to the Knicks).

Stay tuned...