Tom Keegan: Devon Dotson knows freshman season won't be easy

Red Team guard Devon Dotson dips under Blue Team forward Silvio De Sousa for a bucket during a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

For freshmen, one of the more enjoyable aspects of the first days as Kansas basketball players involves playing with and against NBA athletes that they, in the past, had seen only on television.

For example, Devon Dotson was able to meet and share the court with free agent Mario Chalmers, a veteran of nine NBA seasons.

“It was fun,” Dotson said after Wednesday’s camp scrimmage. “It was definitely fun playing against guys who are in the NBA and are successful.”

Dotson looked above the nearby glass door through which Chalmers was about to walk and said, “I was in my family room, watching Derrick Rose, watching that shot right there.”

The glass image of the shot referenced by Dotson, of course, was the 3-pointer Chalmers hit over Rose’s right hand to push the national-title game into overtime.

If, at the age of 8, Dotson could see his future, he might have leapt out of his chair to celebrate the shot. Not then.

“I’m a Chicago guy,” Dotson said. “I’ll be honest, I was rooting for Derrick Rose, but I’m here now.”

Rose had the biggest name of any player in that game, but fellow Chicagoan Sherron Collins had the bigger game in San Antonio.

Dotson moved to Charlotte, N.C., from Chicago in sixth grade and is the latest Kansas guard who played high school ball in ACC country, following in the footsteps of Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham.

Neither Mason nor Graham played in the McDonald’s All-American game, but both quickly showed they were worthy of such an honor.

Dotson and fellow incoming guard Quentin Grimes were teammates in the McDonald’s game.

“We talked a lot there and we talked at different camps and stuff,” Dotson said of Grimes. “We played well together at McDonald’s. It should be fun playing alongside him. It should be a good time.”

Dotson is 6-foot-2, Grimes 6-4. How are they alike and how are they different?

“We’re similar,” Dotson said. “Both fast, athletic, like to get the ball up and down the floor, can handle it, pass it. We can do a lot of the same stuff. We can play alongside each other and just play our game.”

Dotson has the quickness and know-how to get to the paint, which will create opportunities for others. Cashing in on open shots created by teammates getting to the paint isn't his strength yet.

“Everything can be tweaked," Dotson said. "I’m focusing on my shot a lot, getting that more consistent, more pure, and being more vocal out there, coming in as a freshman and being able to lead.”

Graham hasn't sugar-coated what awaits Dotson as a first-year KU player.

“He said it’s going to be hard, not going to be easy," Dotson said. "Just have to fight through adversity and just keep pushing.”

Comments

Dillon Davis

PG play is the key to the season. We know the frontcourt will be stacked and good. The question is can Moore and/or Dotson run the show. I think Moore starts but Dotson will get plenty of time to show what he can do.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Craig Carson

this is the beauty of having Moore...Dotson doesnt have to come in and start, he doesnt have to worry about becoming the next great Self PG right away..Moore will start, he has the skill and experience..Dotson can simply fill in and learn at his own pace

3 months, 1 week ago

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Mike Greer

Coach doesn’t have much of a record starting freshman at PG. I’ll assume it’s because of the way he wants the game played, it takes time to develop the mindset and skills needed to be effective.

Collegiate basketball is always in flux, but it’s been a while since everything for the Jayhawks was in alignment, if everyone stays healthy and performs to their potential, this could be that kind of season.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Craig Carson

not to be Debbie Downer, but we also have to hope this Silvio situation doesnt come back to bite us too hard..Im hoping they either sit him as a precaution until they know for certain about his status or the NCAA can just tell KU to go ahead and play him and not to worry about the what ifs

3 months, 1 week ago

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David Morrison

He has already been cleared by the NCAA to compete at the college level. There is no proof of any wrongdoing on either his or the university's part. Let it rest. Silvio will be an integral part of KU's team this year. GO HAWKS!!!

3 months, 1 week ago

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Dave Miller

Dotson will get some relief minutes spelling Moore, but he can possibly up those minutes by playing some really good defense. Coach Self always rewards good defense with playing time.

I'm really stoked for this season to start!! Dang!! Can't we start the season weekend after this weekend? lol

3 months, 1 week ago

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