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PJ Dozier elaborates on his decision to enter the NBA draft.

PJ Dozier on his draft decision, and why it’s a win-win for the Gamecocks

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“That made it that much easier to be able to have that option and be able to weigh your options,” PJ Dozier told the media on Thursday. ”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.”

If you were on the fence about Dozier leaving school early to enter the NBA draft, read the quote above and try to argue against it.

RELATED: Gamecocks’ PJ Dozier thankful for ‘first step’ to weigh NBA draft options

By not signing with an agent, the point guard has left the door wide open to return to USC — should he reverse his decision before the May 24 deadline.

The fact that Dozier is gushing about the flexibility of the NBA’s draft process is a sign that this is a well-thought out decision on his and his family’s part.

South Carolina-PJ Dozier-South Carolina basketball
PJ Dozier, right, has climbed to the bottom of the first round in the latest mock drafts. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Dozier’s clearly not gung ho on entering the league — he understands he can get a real NBA evaluation in the coming weeks, one that will help him make an informed decision on his future.

As I said on Thursday, I see the entire Dozier situation as a win-win for the Gamecocks.

Dozier returns to school? Fantastic, a major boost in talent and experience for 2017/18. Leaves and is drafted in the first round? A sign that the Gamecocks have arrived as a program that puts out league-ready players.

Incredible night for Lady Gamecocks

Winning a national title ranks as No. 1 for the women’s basketball program, but having three players picked in the top 10 of the 2017 WNBA Draft on Thursday surely ranks up there.

As if the on-court accomplishments didn’t say enough, the results in the draft show coach Dawn Staley “is preparing WNBA athletes”, according to No. 10 overall pick Kaela Davis.

RELATED: 4 SEC stars, including 3 from South Carolina, selected in top 10 of WNBA draft

Highest WNBA pick in USC history

With the No. 2 overall pick, the Chicago Sky made Alaina Coates the highest WNBA draft pick in South Carolina history. 

Despite missing the NCAA Tournament with a sprained right ankle, Coates’ spectacular play in the regular season (12.9 points per game, 10.7 rebounds) made enough of a statement to justify her high selection.

New QB target

JUCO QB Westin Elliott is the latest quarterback prospect to catch the eye of South Carolina coaches. (StudentSports.com)

With little experience behind starting QB Jake Bentley, the Gamecocks are turning to the JUCO ranks for potential insurance on the depth chart.

RELATED: Quarterback target emerges

South Carolina is the latest to express interest in Blinn College QB Westin Elliott, who would be available to join the Gamecocks for the 2017 season.

“Right now, I’m just waiting to hear from (offensive coordinator Kurt) Roper and see if we can get a visit set up,” Elliott told Phil Kornblut of SportsTalksc.com and a recruiting writer for Spurs & Feathers. “Recruiting is just now starting for JUCOs since all of the (Division I schools) are just now finishing up their spring practices and games.”

A peek behind the curtain

2018 RB Jashaun Corbin was on campus earlier this week for an official visit with the Gamecocks.

RELATED: Florida RB Jashaun Corbin visits

The Rivals 4-star prospect had a full schedule, with his coach Nate Hooks Jr. tweeting out a picture of Corbin’s itinerary.

‘I’d rather have a guy who can flex…’

Between K.C. Crosby, Kiel Pollard, Hayden Hurst, Evan Hinson, Jacob August and others, the Gamecocks have done a solid job in recruiting tight ends.

RELATED: What South Carolina looks for in tight end recruits

Tight ends coach Pat Washington shed some light on what Carolina coaches look for at the position.

“I look for guys who are just athletic,” Washington said. “You don’t have to be a blazing-fast guy, but you have to be able to separate a little bit. Honestly, I like guys who play basketball.”

With Washington’s comments, it’s no surprise that we saw the athletic Hinson also join the Gamecocks basketball team January.

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