A closer look at Class of 2018 PG Devon Dotson's recruitment
While Late Night in The Phog — 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at Allen Fieldhouse — consistently draws the most attention when it comes to recruiting visits, sometimes it’s better — both for the player and the program — for a prospect to visit campus when very little is going on and he is the only show in town.
Such is the case this weekend for the Kansas men’s basketball program, which is welcoming Class of 2018 point guard Devon Dotson and Class of 2018 big man Silvio De Sousa to town for official visits.
Currently ranked as the seventh best point guard in his class by 247 Sports and as the No. 33 overall prospect (and rising) in the 2018 class by Rivals.com, Dotson is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard from Charlotte, N.C., known for his speed, athleticism and toughness.
In June, he narrowed his list down to eight but, according to Eric Bossi, of Rivals.com, his recruitment appears to be headed toward a three-team race between Kansas, Florida and Maryland.
The trip to KU this weekend will be Dotson’s second official visit. He also visited Arizona earlier this summer, but the Wildcats have since received commitments from two point guards, leading many to believe the U of A is no longer on Dotson’s list.
Also included in that top eight were: Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, USC, Wake Forest, with UCLA recently trying to jump into that group, as well, according to Bossi.
With that in mind, here’s a quick look at how Dotson might fit into the three programs that Bossi believes will be his finalists. One note of interest, particularly with his visit to KU set for this weekend, is that Dotson does not currently have any other officials visits scheduled. And while that does not mean he won’t schedule them, it could mean that if he’s impressed enough by what he sees and hears this weekend, he might not feel the need to do so.
Dotson and Florida
According to Russ Wood, of InsideTheGators.com, “The Gators are in very good shape with Dotson.”
His relationships with Florida head coach Mike White and assistant Darris Nichols, who both have been recruiting Dotson to UF since they arrived in 2015, are viewed to be strong points for Florida and, with starting point guard Chris Chiozza graduating after the upcoming season, the Gators are preaching that Dotson could step into that role right away.
Wood also notes that the Gators are selling Dotson and his family on the combination of athletics, academics, proximity to home and style of play, all things you would expect a program to promote while pursuing a top-tier player.
Having said all of that, Wood also notes that while Dotson to Florida makes a lot of sense, “there is still work to be done by the Gators staff.”
Dotson and Maryland
Scott Greene, of TerrapinSportsReport.com, notes that Maryland and head coach Mark Turgeon have made no secret about their desire to land Dotson, sending coaches to his events throughout the summer in waves to make sure the Maryland presence is felt.
Greene also writes that Dotson recently told him in Philadelphia, at the Under Armor camp, that Maryland assistant Kevin Broadus had stayed in contact with him more frequently than any college coach out there. Add to that the fact that current AAU teammate Aaron Wiggins already has committed to Maryland and many believe those are two awfully strong selling points.
In a recent update, Greene also pointed out that Turgeon has shown a desire of late to play with more than one primary ball handler on the floor and the Terps may be closing in on one of the best recruiting classes in Maryland history, which could potentially be attractive to Dotson.
Dotson and Kansas
The fact that KU was second on Dotson’s list when it came down to setting his visits could bode well for the Jayhawks. It can be dangerous to read too much into those things, as, often times, it’s merely scheduling logistics that determine when and where visits take place. But the fact that Dotson does not have any other visits currently set beyond Kansas leads me to believe this was more of a priority scheduling.
KU coach Bill Self has talked a lot about the potential for his current team to lose as many as six players to the draft after the upcoming season, making his ability to bring in big time players to replace them an absolute must.
Even if all six do not leave, we already know there will be a need in the backcourt by virtue of the upcoming graduation of Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk. Their departure would leave Kansas with Cal transfer Charlie Moore as the only point guard on the roster entering the 2018-19 season, so, clearly, there is plenty of playing time available for a point guard in the 2018 class.
Beyond that, Bossi points out that Kansas has been on Dotson since very early in his recruitment, which often plays an important role in these decisions.
Still close enough to the monster season turned in by reigning national player of the year Frank Mason III, Kansas is in a great position to use Mason’s role and production as something to point to for future point guards. While it’s not likely that Kansas will find another Mason in every recruiting class, it makes sense for the coaching staff to show recruits what Mason did and to help them visualize how they could fill a similar role for Kansas.
As of right now, Bossi believes the Jayhawks have a slight lead in the race for Dotson. And, if things go well this weekend, it’s entirely possible that the lead could grow.
As Bossi recently wrote, “From the outside looking in, Dotson appears to be nearing a decision. There's no doubt that the battle for him has gotten fierce... I would imagine (Kansas) is hoping for this weekend’s visit to go well enough that Dotson never sets any other visits.”
As for the visit of De Sousa, his arrival in Lawrence caught many recruiting analysts by surprise. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound bruiser is the No. 7-ranked power forward in the 2018 class and, like Dotson, also is considering Maryland, which is the current leader in the 247 Sports crystal ball rankings.
De Sousa attends IMG Academy in Florida and is originally from Angola.
While that duo will get the most attention from the Kansas program because they are on official visits, a handful of other unofficial visitors turned what figured to be a fairly quiet weekend into a big one for the Jayhawks.
Sunrise Christian Academy forward N’faly Dante (6-11, 230, No. 2 player in 2020 class) and teammate Malik Hall (6-7, 190, No. 92 in 2019 class) also were in Lawrence on Friday. Both Hall and Dante are expected to return to KU for unofficial visits the weekend of Late Night.