Why Devon Dotson Might Have Been the Most Important Player in the NCAA Tournament

The response to the Coronavirus outbreak has caused a massive upheaval in the sports world. Among the losses this month was the NCAA Tournament. Sadly, college basketball fans will never get to see how their favorite players would have fared in the tourney. There were a handful of teams with serious championship aspirations. 

One of those teams was the University of Kansas Jayhawks. One of the key cogs in their machine was Devon Dotson. Here’s why Dotson might have been the most important player in the NCAA Tournament had it been played – as well as what the future holds for him. 

Devon Dotson’s 2019-2020 season recap

Last season, the talented guard Dotson stormed onto the scene for the Jayhawks. The Big XII Conference named him to their All-Big XII Team as well as their All-Freshman Team. He also received All-Big XII Tournament honors as well.

This year has been more of the same. In his sophomore season, Dotson was phenomenal for Kansas. Here are the numbers he was able to put up in 30 games played: 

  • 18.1 points per game
  • 4.1 rebounds per game
  • 4.0 assists per game
  • 24.9 Player Efficiency Rating
  • 6.2 win shares

Dotson obviously won’t get the opportunity to finish out his strong season, but his stats in the abbreviated one are solid enough. He made quite an impact on the national and Big XII stage — expect him to likely earn an All-Big XII Conference team spot when those are handed out. 

What the future holds

It’s unclear when Dotson will jump to the NBA — he could do so this season if he wanted, though he may feel he has unfinished business at Kansas. Dotson declared for the NBA Draft last season following his freshman year but retained his college eligibility. That meant the market wasn’t quite there for him yet to warrant leaving school. Bleacher Report said he would have been the eighth-ranked guard had he maintained his draft eligibility.

That number likely will go up this year. With NCAA players leaving college sooner and sooner, and Dotson having the great year he had, expect him to declare for the NBA Draft and stay in it this time. He’ll probably go somewhere in the early-to-mid-first round if this season was any indication. 

Why Devon Dotson would have been the most important player in the NCAA Tournament

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The bottom line is that blue-chip players win in March. Dotson is a top pro prospect but had already shown his ability to produce at the college level. Kansas clearly has a talented team around him. There’s little doubt that barring a very unlikely upset, Kansas was nearly guaranteed to cruise deep into the tournament. They were assured of a one seed in one of the regional brackets. 

Playing more games allows players on winning teams to have more impact on the tournament itself. Dotson would have likely gotten more opportunities to play than most players due to Kansas being one of the top squads in the nation.

The farther a team advances, the more games they play. It’s impossible to say whether they would have won the whole thing — March Madness is known for its shocking upsets – but the odds of Dotson leading the Jayhawks into the Final Four were high.

Dotson and Kansas are surely disappointed that they never got the opportunity to play for a national title during March Madness. But Dotson can rest easy knowing that he already demonstrated his ability over the course of this season and likely has a bright future ahead of him in the NBA.