While it was a short career, it was fairly effective for South Carolina guard PJ Dozier. The sophomore was one of the key components behind the Gamecocks’ first modern-era Final Four appearance and was able to parlay that into a possible NBA Draft selection.
Dozier showed well in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 15.6 points per game and 4.8 rebounds and shooting 50.8% from the field (sinking 61% of his two-point attempts) during the Gamecocks’ run to the national semifinals. He was named to the East Region All-Tournament team for his efforts.
If you need a guy who can cut well to the hoop and cover ground on the floor, Dozier’s your man. He doesn’t possess blinding speed, but he can certainly get it up the court in a hurry with his big strides. He has a great ability to cut past defenders, drive it to the rim and draw contact, along with a nice mid-range jumper off the dribble and good vision you expect from a guard. He’s not a rebounding machine by any means, but his ability to create second-chance opportunities manifested itself a few times this season. His on-ball defending is probably one of his bigger draws as he averaged just below 2.5 steals per 40 minutes.
That’s when things are going well. When they aren’t, Dozier has the tendency to somewhat fade into the background. For as many high-teen and low-to-mid twenty point games he put in, there were several single digit games on his ledger as well. He needs to develop a good knowledge of when it’s time to shoot and when it’s time to drive, a source of frustration for Frank Martin at different points during the season. His three-point shot is spotty at best and barely there at worst; he’s not consistent enough from distance to have the ball in his hands in critical situations. His free throw shooting is also a red mark on his draft folder. He’s not horrible at the line, but in the NBA, shooting it just south of 60% won’t really cut it. He does manage to get into foul trouble at times as well, fouling out four times this past season (one game, a quadruple OT game against Alabama, skewed that somewhat), but showed improvement in that area from his freshman season.
Off The Court
Dozier had some name equity on campus before coming to South Carolina, and for that matter, in the city of Columbia. He’s a coach’s kid: his father, Perry Sr. was his high school coach at Spring Valley. Perry and his twin brother, Terry, were teammates on the basketball team in the mid-to-late-80s under George Felton. Terry had the better overall career between the two brothers, finishing ranked third in program history in total minutes played and minutes per game before having a cup of water with the (old) Hornets and heading in Australia to play pro ball for over a decade. Older sister Asia, an in-state star in high school, was a mainstay in Dawn Staley’s starting lineup and was part of the program’s first Final Four in 2015. While PJ had every reason to go to college elsewhere and make a name for himself outside of his hometown, his decision to stick around paid off.
Dozier is being projected by DraftExpress to go 48th in the NBA Draft to the Milwaukee Bucks. That seems about right; however, a sharper three-point game and better shooting from the line would have improved his stock significantly. At the same time, while he won’t be a nightly starter/big-minute guy in the NBA, he should be able to hold his own and get you maybe 10-15 here and there.