But Tyler Dorsey silenced his critics this past season, showcasing explosive scoring ability and generating truly prolific numbers for Pasadena (Calif.) Maranatha.
He averaged a whopping 34 points along with 10 rebounds per contest, leading his team to a sectional championship and capturing the Gatorade player of the year award in the process — an immense accomplishment in California.
”I think I had a pretty good season, put up some big numbers and we won a championship,” Dorsey said. “I felt like I had to step it up a notch because I have to get ready for college and the next level above that. I just stayed in the gym all season, even during the season I would work out before games, just staying hungry.”
|Dorsey excels at bullying his way to the bucket|
His season culminated with an invitation to last week’s Jordan Brand Classic, held in New York, featuring some of the country’s very best senior prospects. In practices there, Dorsey frequently put his head down and willed his way to the rim, using his increasingly strong body to overpower opponents and generate contact that would result in free throws next season.
If he appeared to be competing with a chip on his shoulder, that would have been a reasonable approach for him to adopt. Unlike many of the Jordan attendees, Dorsey didn’t make the McDonald’s Game despite his huge year. He wasn’t bitter about it, however, just determined and highly confident.
”Most of these guys went to three events, this (was) my only event,” Dorsey said. “I just wanted to come out and prove myself. I’ve played against all of these players and most of the matchups have been even. I think I can play against the best players in the country, I’ve been doing that my whole high school career.”
Oregon will be his collegiate home beginning this summer. He said he’ll begin summer school on June 20 and prepare for his freshman campaign. Thinking ahead to 2015-16, he believes there’s a potential opportunity for him to make an early difference.
”I feel like I’m slotting in for Joe Young, that’s the missing piece,” he said. “I’ll play the one and the two. I feel like I can come in and just be a leader, they want me to come in and take that position and step up.
”I think we have some great pieces coming in with Trevor (Manuel) and Kendall Small, so I think we can be pretty tough going in to the Pac-12.”
Learning the college team game obviously will take priority when next season begins, but in the meantime Dorsey will focus on some individual areas as he prepares for the rigors of the next level.
”I’m just trying being a better ballhandler, having my shot more consistent, just every aspect of my game,” he said.