Devon Dotson, a 6-foot-1 senior point guard from Providence Day High School in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday orally committed to play basketball at Kansas.
Dotson, the No. 17-ranked player in the Class of 2018 by Rivals.com, chose Bill Self’s KU program over Maryland. Dotson also had Clemson, Florida and North Carolina State on his list of schools, most recently eliminating Florida after the Gators received commitments from a pair of guards.
Earlier in the recruiting process, he also considered Arizona, Ohio State, UCLA, Southern California, Wake Forest and Miami.
He made the announcement in a ceremony at his school’s gym before a homecoming football game. Dotson thanked several individuals, including his parents and coaches, then took a KU hat out of a bag and placed it on his head. He unbuttoned his top, revealing a Jayhawks T-shirt.
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“I knew around this week. Coach Self came out and I committed,” Dotson said in a phone interview, referring to a mid-week visit from Self and assistant Norm Roberts to Carolina. “They thought I was the best point guard in the nation. I could come in and run the show from Day One, be that guy. Devonté (Graham) is graduating, there’s a need for a point guard. I felt I could come in and do my thing from the start.”
Dotson said he realizes KU has had some talented lead guards in the 15-year Bill Self era, including Graham this season and Frank Mason last.
“I see that he did great there at KU,” Dotson said of Mason, a rookie with the Sacramento Kings and last year’s national player of the year. “I am a different player. I am Devon Dotson. I am looking to run the show and do what I can to help us win. I feel like I can make plays. If I need to score, I score. If I need to get people involved, I get people involved. I try to make plays, plays on defense, be an uptempo guard.”
Dotson visited KU on Aug. 25-27.
“I like the campus, the coaching staff, I like what the program is all about. It feels like a place where I fit in and can do my thing there,” said Dotson, whose lead recruiter was Roberts.
“Great guy. I love him. He formed a relationship with myself and my family. He’s a great guy and did a great job (in recruiting).”
The 170-pound Dotson, who moved from his hometown of Chicago to North Carolina in sixth grade, averaged 24.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists a game his junior year at Providence Day. This past summer, he averaged 19.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game for Team Charlotte AAU.
Being from the Windy City, he knows KU redshirt sophomore point guard Charlie Moore, who will join Dotson in the backcourt next season. Moore can practice but not play in games this season after transferring from California.
“My brother and I played in the same league (with him),” Dotson said of Moore. “I think we’ll be great. I think we complement each other well.”
Dotson joined No. 2-ranked Zion Williamson’s South Carolina Supreme AAU team at the end of July and is a good friend of the 6-6 Williamson, who has a list of Kansas, UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, South Carolina and Clemson.
“I will be in his ear, try to build one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, to build something special at Kansas,” Dotson said of Williamson.
KU, which is entertaining No. 11-ranked Quentin Grimes (6-5 combo guard, College Park High, The Woodlands, Texas) on an official campus visit this weekend, figures to be in need of guards following the graduation of Devonté Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, the likely loss of combo guard Malik Newman and possible loss of Lagerald Vick to the NBA Draft as well. KU next season will return point guard Charlie Moore, combo guard Marcus Garrett and shooting guard Sam Cunliffe.
The Jayhawks have landed commitments from a pair of frontcourt players — No. 25 ranked Silvio De Sousa (6-9, 220, senior, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.) and No. 33 David McCormack (6-10, 260, senior, Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.).
Here’s ESPN.com’s player profile on Dotson: “Dotson owns elite speed and quickness as his frame is sturdy, strong and dependable to absorb bumps and contact. With his burst off the bounce he applies pressure to a defense as he will push it with straight-line speed at the rim to score or find a teammate with his head up.
“Against a set defense he understands to set up the offensive and create scoring opportunities for his teammates. He is quick to hit the open man but also has the IQ to break off a play and create his own opportunity. It’s very difficult to keep him out of the paint as he beats a defense with sheer blow-by speed and also by changing his gears. He is a reliable shooter especially with the pull-up jumper inside the arc. A fierce competition who leads and wins.”
ESPN added: “Dotson can produce big scoring numbers or be a high assist guy which makes him a dual threat. Defensively he has a knack for steals but he must remember his lateral quickness can make him an outstanding on-ball defender. As he continues to play fast and think slowly he will process the game even better. One of the top point guards in the class.”