Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina men's basketball guard P.J. Dozier announced Monday he will enter the 2017 NBA Draft and sign with an agent, eliminating the option to return to USC. Dozier made the announcement on Instagram Monday afternoon following a full day of speculation based on national media reports.
"God has blessed me with so many opportunities and continues to do so! I've always been taught to capitalize on every opportunity!" Dozier said on his Instagram post. He continued, "With the support of my family and Coaching Staff, I'm excited to continue to pursue my dreams and will be entering the 2017 NBA Draft and signing with an agent."
Dozier announced last week he had submitted his name for June's draft, but did not hire an agent, leaving open the option of coming back to USC 10 days following May's NBA Draft combine if he feels he doesn't like his potential draft status. Dozier reportedly decided to "fully commit to a professional career over the weekend," according to a report from The Vertical.
Most mock drafts have him in the second round after averaging 13.9 points, 2.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds a contest a sophomore. During the team's historic run in the tournament, he played even better, posting 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, while connecting on 50.8 percent (33-65) of his attempts from the floor. Dozier was second on the team this season with 13.9 points per game. He also averaged 2.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds a contest.
Dozier's change in status means USC Head Coach Frank Martin now has four players to replace, including his top two scorers, Sindarius Thornwell and Dozier, as the Gamecocks come off of arguably their greatest season ever, advancing to the Final Four for the first time in school history, and winning a tournament game for the first time in 44 years.
In his post, Dozier went on to say, "I cannot express in words how much I appreciate everyone who has supported me thus far in my playing career. About two years ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life; to stay home and play for one of the greatest institutions with the best fans in the nation! I am so grateful for Coach Frank and my teammates for these last two years and for helping to set me up for future success on the next level."
As for fans, Dozier wrote, "Gamecock Nation you have been nothing short of amazing. You all put the "LIFE" in the Colonial Life Arena! I can't wait to continue to represent my program and University throughout my professional career."
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