Dotson article from Newell

  • Gutsy take from Jesse. I didn’t see the post game so I missed the “we” deflection statement. Not a great look.

    The pressing question KU’s point guard faces following Saturday’s loss to Villanova

  • Can’t get it

  • @mayjay gotta pay for it now.

  • Some that has it, copy and paste for the poor folks lol.

  • Let’s see if this works…

    PHILADELPHIA The response was out of the ordinary … especially coming from a Kansas point guard.

    Devon Dotson stood outside his team’s locker room following KU’s 56-55 loss to Villanova when he was asked — from his vantage point — what had led to Villanova’s Jermaine Samuels freeing himself for the game-winning three with 20 seconds left.

    “They switched out (Collin) Gillespie, the point guard, on Tristan or McCormack or somebody,” Dotson said. “I think he got by him a little bit, forced help, and we didn’t get back to him on time. He made a tough shot.”

    Before looking at these words with a critical eye, it’s important to give some necessary caveats first.

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    Dotson was likely overextended against Villanova. He was forced to play 37 “can’t-lose-your-focus” minutes against one of the nation’s toughest offenses, and he also had to take on a greater load after Marcus Garrett left in the first half with an ankle injury.

    So some of the physical errors that happened for Dotson in the final 71 seconds when KU blew a four-point lead with the ball? Understandable. Things you can shake off.

    This type of response, though, is not something KU is used to — especially when that player is considered a team leader.

    Let’s go back to the three-pointer in question. Dotson is right that teammate Tristan Enaruna was switched to Gillespie after a screen, but Enaruna does a nice job of staying in front of him. Gillespie might have a half-step on the drive, but not enough to create a major advantage — especially against Enaruna’s seven-foot wingspan.

    The mistake appears to come from Dotson. He’s the one that steps into help on the drive unnecessarily, leaving Samuels open for the game-deciding three that put Villanova up one.

    “All you’ve got to do is make them shoot a two, then you get the last shot to win the game. Instead, we just let them shoot a three,” KU coach Bill Self said. “And it wasn’t like the first three they shot today. They just shot 40 other ones, so that was disappointing.”

    Again, mental lapses happen. But if we’re comparing Dotson to the standard he’s set for himself here, there appears to be lots of room for improvement.

    Let’s go back to June. When Dotson announced he was returning to KU, he said he had a particular goal in mind.

    “This year I’m looking to lead,” he said then, “and just be that guy on the floor that can really help everybody else out there.”

    This wasn’t a great example of that.

    Past veterans at KU have done more than own up to their own errors after losses — they’ve also often gone out of their way to protect teammates in these situations too.

    Dotson was angry and frustrated, sure. But using “we” instead of “I” to describe the breakdown on Villanova’s three, while also not shouldering his own responsibility on the play?

    If nothing else, it was a departure from what is normally heard from KU point guards in these situations.

    Dotson’s on-court presence seemed like it could have been better Saturday too. He was noticeably unaggressive early, before finally asserting himself more midway through the second half after being challenged.

    “I noticed the first half, there wasn’t a lot of driving lanes or opportunities to attack,” Dotson said. “I just tried to stay in attack mode, stay aggressive. Teammates were on me, and Coach was on me to play your game, be aggressive. That’s what I was trying to do.”

    Dotson was better in the second half … but again, it took a boost from others. Self has talked a lot recently about Dotson doing better when trying to lead, saying the team energy can naturally dip if a point guard is exhibiting bad body language.

    Fortunately for the Jayhawks, this hasn’t happened often. Unfortunately for them, it has seemed to occur in the most trying moments of the season, with losses to Duke and Villanova serving as the two most notable examples of when Dotson failed to galvanize those around him.

    Self after the game spoke a bit about this to’s Andy Katz when talking about how he still loved his team and players while remaining disappointed with the finish against Villanova.

    “In games like this, your best guys got to perform in the most critical moments,” Self told Katz.

    Dotson obviously struggled with this Saturday. He allowed Gillespie to take away the ball on a crucial possession, then didn’t foul him while giving up an uncontested layup. He then didn’t get out to Samuels on a three and later missed the front end of a one-and-one.

    All those could end up as learning experiences. All could easily be waved off as opportunities that should help Dotson the next time he faces similar situations.

    The bigger and more pressing question is this: Does Dotson want to be a leader for this team, both in good times and bad?

    KU’s NCAA hopes — and potentially Dotson’s NBA future — could hinge on how he answers.

  • Wow throwing shade on your own guy when you clearly blew the game. Disappointing to say the least.

  • Just a heads up… If you download the KU Hoops app you can read all of the KC Star articles on KU basketball for free! Just search KU Hoops and it should pop up. The App is free as well.

  • I thought Eli’s ghost took over Dotson as the game slipped away.

  • @jhawk7782 good one, or awful one I should say!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 It’s definitely on the “awful” side of the ledger.

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