Can Gamecocks’ Dozier bring magic to NBA?

South Carolina guard P.J. Dozier is expected to be drafted anywhere in the late-first or early-second round.

Will P.J. Dozier, from the University of South Carolina, become the first Gamecock drafted into the NBA since Renaldo Balkman in 2006?

At the 2017 NBA Combine, Dozier proved to be a worthy prospect.

Dozier, who just completed his sophomore season at South Carolina, declared for the draft after helping lead the Gamecocks to their first Final Four appearance in program history. He was measured at the combine at 200.6 pounds and 6’5.25 without shoes/6’6.75 inches with shoes.

His size is a massive advantage, being that he was one out of four true shooting guards who were measured. His wingspan measured out at 6’11, which was the fifth-largest at the combine. But Dozier’s greatest achievement lies in his max vertical, which measured at 39”, the ninth-best at the camp. He was also fifth in standing vertical leap for guards at 34”.

During the first scrimmage of the combine, Dozier scored 6 points, grabbed 6 rebounds with an assist and steal. He went 2-of-11 from the floor.

During the second scrimmage, he came out at 7-of-12 shooting, scoring 15 points, and compiling five rebounds, two steals, and one assist. He committed one turnover in each game.

Dozier also produced one of the most impressive dunks of the scrimmages, throwing down an alley-oop that made the rounds across various highlight-shows.  If you haven’t watched the replay, do it.

During the last season of his college career, Dozier shot 29 percent on 3-pointers and 40 percent from the field. He averaged 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds.

He became known for his ability to dig the ball away from his opponents, which can be attributed to his great wingspan and quick agility. This also allows him to keep the ball in front of his chest and effectively close off passing lanes.

One of Dozier’s best qualities is his patience. He has the ability to scan on an offensive possession to pick the best play in terms of passing, which was very obvious in USC’s win over Duke in the NCAA tournament.

The main ambiguity when it comes to Dozier is whether he will be a shooting or point guard in the NBA.

Dozier’s stock in the draft seems to be uncertain, with predictions alternating between the end of the first round and the beginning of the second. But with his above average vertical and exceptional dunking ability, Dozier might be taken in the late first.