Is junior guard Daymean Dotson quietly the best player on the team?
With players such as senior forward Devonta Pollard and sophomore guard Rob Gray Jr., this question may seem like a stretch, but it actually is legit once things are broken down.
Gray is known to find ways to score no matter where he is on the court. He averages 17.3 points a game and sometimes gets in spurts where he seems absolutely unstoppable. From the line, Gray is a 68 percent free throw shooter.
As great as he is on offense, his defense could use some help. Gray is quick enough to stay in front of opponents, but if he is beat or jumps on a move, he has a tendency to put hands on guys which leads to fouls. He also gets caught in screens and gets lost in traffic, not enough that he leaves guys open, but enough that they have better shot looks.
Pollard has had a large hand on the offensive side lately. The offense has ran through him while Gray has been nursing an ankle injury. Pollard averages 13.7 points per game and is on pace to beat his point total from last year of 364. He is also a 72 percent free throw shooter.
Defensively, Pollard makes a positive impact, as he has attributed 16 blocks and 27 steals on the season, as well as averaging five rebounds per game.
As good as both of these players have been this season, Dotson has possibly had the biggest overall impact on the team this season. Offensively and defensively, he has been a leader on the team through his play.
In his first official season in a Cougar uniform, Dotson has put up statistics that the University of Oregon were hoping to see when they first recruited him.
Dotson averages 13 points per game and 1.3 assists on the season. He is almost automatic from the free throw line with a percentage of 85.7. That is huge for the Cougars as they have a tendency to struggle from the line. The next highest is from junior guard Ronnie Johnson with an 80.6 free throw percentage.
Dotson is one of the best defenders on the team, if not the best. Statistics do not show how he locks up opponents and forces them to make bad plays or force bad shots. Though he only has 18 steals, Dotson is a scrapper who is always around the ball, especially in clutch defensive situations.
His biggest impact on the team is his rebounding ability. Dotson is a rebounding monster with the jumping ability to snatch a ball out of the air from almost anyone. This ability has helped him earn five double-doubles on the season, all five through rebounds and points.
Leading the team with 171 rebounds, he is on route to surpass 200 rebounds on the season. Averaging 6.8 rebounds a game, he should reach 200 soon, barring an injury or setback.
There is no doubt that every player on the Cougars’ roster has a certain role, and head coach Kelvin Sampson wants to utilize every one of them. With all the skills that each player possesses, Daymean Dotson is the standout. He truly seems to be the silent x-factor on a team that is beginning to play very well together. Look for Dotson to continue his stellar play going into the last few weeks.