After a stellar performance against TCU, Devon Dotson has taken the mantle as the leader of this Jayhawk team and proven he can perform when it matters most.
Dotson has been consistent all year long, averaging 12 points and four rebounds per game while running the KU offense. Over the last few games however, Dotson has stepped up his game and is showing fans and teammate how much of a force he can be.
Over the last four games he’s averaged 18 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Those performances have helped fill the holes left by the absences of Marcus Garrett and Lagerald Vick. They also helped him win the Wayman Tisdale Award for Freshman of the Week, showing that Dotson is starting to get some attention outside of the Big 12.
Dotson’s next-level play culminated against the Horned Frogs in an 82-77 overtime win. He scored 25 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out five assists, leading the Jayhawks to a win they had to have if they want the Big 12 title streak to continue.
Dotson’s play was dazzling all game long, and he was the steady force on offense that Kansas needed as Dedric Lawson struggled to get to his usual numbers. His toughness was also on display as the game came to a close. After suffering a hard fall that kept him down for a few seconds, Dotson went on to sink free throw after free throw, icing the game for the Jayhawks.
The game against TCU will be remembered by fans for a long time and is garnering many to mention Dotson among recent great KU point guards Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham. Those comparisons are valid, as Dotson proved he can be a great leader and will his team to victory just as Mason and Graham did during their lauded careers.
One way in which Dotson’s career could differ from Mason and Graham is the amount of time he spends in Lawrence. Dotson’s draft stock has slowly risen throughout the season, leading many to wonder how long he’ll be at Kansas. Before the season he was thought to be a shoe-in to stay for at least two years, if not more. With his recent play though, that seems more unlikely now than ever.
I still think Dotson stays one more year. He has some faults, including a slight build and a bad habit of turning the ball over in spurts, and one or two more years in college should help him solve those problems.
If Dotson continues his tough and dynamic play he should be on the fast track to winning the Big 12 Freshman of the Year. That award will be well deserved, especially if he keeps filling KU’s lineup holes and leads this team to a 15th straight conference title.