Devon Dotson has been the motor driving the Jayhawks so far this season.
The freshman guard from Charlotte doesn’t put up the gaudiest numbers, as he’s only averaging 10.7 points per game. That average is good enough for 4th on the team behind KU’s early season big three of Lagerald Vick, Dedric Lawson, and Udoka Azubuike.
He’s also only third on the team in assists per game at 2.7 – a relatively low number for a starting point guard surrounded by scorers.
However, this is a case of the box score not telling the whole story, and those numbers aren’t meant to knock his play so far. They show how much of an impact Dotson is making without filling up the stat sheet.
KU has played three big-time opponents so far this season, and in those three games, Dotson has shown up and been a big contributor for the Jayhawks.
In the last two games against Marquette and No. 5 Tennessee, Dotson played a combined 71 minutes, including 40 minutes in an overtime affair against the Volunteers.
Dotson scored 17 points against Tennessee. Those 17 points were huge for the Jayhawks, and showed Dotson has what it takes to provide scoring when the Jayhawks need it most. Dotson’s ability to get to the free throw line proved to be one of the most impressive aspects, as he went six-for-seven from the line.
Dotson’s performance is even more impressive when you consider how Tennessee plays. The Volunteers feature a strong and physical team that isn’t afraid to play with an edge. Dotson was able to match that edge all night, something that many true freshman can struggle with.
The edge and toughness that Dotson seems to play with has led many to compare him to former guard Frank Mason. Mason was undersized much like Dotson is now. Nevertheless, Mason never backed down and wasn’t afraid to take on anyone.
Dotson seems to be working his way to a similar reputation and has quickly become a leader on this team that features a mix of veterans and underclassmen. This is a bit surprising, as he came into the year expecting to battle Charlie Moore for the starting point guard spot all year long. It’s evident now though that Dotson has grabbed the starting spot and doesn’t seem to be letting go anytime soon.
Dotson could be a candidate to enter the NBA Draft if he keeps playing like he has through the first five games of the season. Not many thought that would be the case before the season started, as the slight-of-build guard seemed to be a sure bet to stay in Lawrence for at least two years before trying to go pro.
However, Dotson could end up as Bill Self’s highest drafted true point guard. That is a big “if”, but so far Dotson has made exceeding expectations a thing of habit.