COLUMBIA, S.C. — PJ Dozier said South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin helped him through the NBA draft process “like a son.”
On Tuesday, Martin spoke like a proud parent about Dozier, who has made the decision to enter the NBA draft and to sign with an agent to end his South Carolina career.
“I am ecstatic for him,” Martin said at an event as Columbia announced it would be host for an NCAA Tournament weekend in 2019. “I am so happy for him because he’s worked so hard. He’s stepping into a new journey. That’s what it’s about, preparing those guys for that next step.
“He’s got to do what’s in his heart is right to do. It’s no different than you or me. We have to do what our hearts tell us to do. My job is to help him reach that dream.”
Dozier declared for the draft on April 12, initially not signing with an agent. He said a day later that the decision was made easier by the option to return by not signing with an agent.
“I’m blessed to be able to have the opportunity that the NBA allows us young guys to go enter the draft and get some feedback on where we are and make the deciding choice on whether we want to go or not,” Dozier said.
But on Monday, Dozier announced he had signed with an agent, which ended his eligibility and committed him fully to the NBA draft.
Dozier averaged 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore, helping lead South Carolina to the first Final Four in program history.
Dozier scored 21 points in the opening round against Marquette, paving the way for what would be a big tournament. He scored 11 against Duke in the second round before scoring 12 against Baylor in the Sweet 16. Dozier had big games against Florida and Gonzaga, as he scored 17 points in each of the final 2 games of the NCAA Tournament for the Gamecocks.