Recently landing back home after one final AAU tournament in his career, the Fab 48 in Las Vegas, 2015 Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley four-star combo guard P.J. Dozier had a meeting.
Holding scholarship offers from some of the elite college basketball programs across the country, the Dozier family had some decisions to make and did so by cutting his list of schools to five, also scheduling official visits with each this fall.
Dozier’s top five, in no order, reads: Louisville, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgetown, and Michigan.
“All of the schools that he selected, he finally got down to about eight of them and then out of that eight that he was trying to figure out what would be the top ones that he was going to visit,” Dozier’s father Perry said. “And that was of course what he was looking for in the school.
“So, by the time we got back from the AAU circuit, we got back and sat there as a family and went over the list and all of the schools that he selected pretty much were underneath the same criteria. The punch list was the coaches themselves, the head coaches and the whole coaching staff and how well he was responding and socializing with them, that had a big part of it.
“The other part was the program itself and then of course some of the schools were recruiting him for a different position and so that played a major role as well when each school was recruiting him, what position they were recruiting him to play. And then the development of the program and which coaches he felt like could continue his growth in basketball.”
Now up to 6-foot-6, nearing 6-foot-7, Dozier still has his mind set on being a primary ball handler at the next level.
Though carrying the ability to be a combo-guard in college, Dozier and his family like that his top five will provide the opportunity to play point guard.
One school involved in Dozier’s recruitment for well over a year is Michigan and the Wolverines have had tremendous success of late at the point guard position.
“Oh yeah,” Dozier said. “If that wasn’t the case, Michigan wouldn’t be one of the schools selected.
“And again, we never really told the coaching staff what we were looking for, we wanted them to tell us what they saw him as and Michigan did a great job in recruiting, they were there pretty early in the game, showing a lot of interest and with the history of what they’ve done there.
“And Michigan, we have much more respect for the coaching staff there. But mainly, they’re recruiting him the way he wants to be recruited.”
Certainly aware of Michigan’s national championship game run in 2013 as well as the development of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., the Dozier’s followed last year’s group of Wolverines closely as well, impressed with the rise of Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert.
“We had to cause I knew they were of interest that they had in P.J. and that P.J. had in them so we started following them,” Dozier said. “I guess people are different when you’re dealing with recruiting now a days.
“Some people will say I like this school because they’re this type of school and I’ve watched them forever. But P.J. is selecting a school that is the correct way in what is going to be the best program and the best fit for him so Michigan is definitely a strong, strong possibility.”
Eager to get out and take those five official visits, Dozier’s father hopes to make all of them with his son but doesn’t feel it’ll be completely necessary.
Already putting trust in the five schools listed, Dozier is most curious to see how his son interacts with the players and staff on the visits.
“Just that they are what I think that they are,” Dozier said. “Just seeing how the core of their program is. You can see the outside surface but actually getting to see how they interact with the players and look at that and academically of course.
“I don’t think it’s going to take as much for me as it is for him cause once he got down to these five schools I’m feeling very strongly about all five of them so it’s not a thing going into it where I’m looking for this or that. I just want to see if they were exactly what we thought each one of them were and then the decision will become ultimately up to P.J.”
With the early signing period quickly approaching in November, Dozier added there’s no timetable for a decision following the official visits.
“We haven’t decided,” Dozier said. “We haven’t even talked about it. It was a one thing at a time type of deal. And I think it’s because if we say we want to sign in November it’s almost a rush to do something.
“What are we rushing for? If we’re ready in November we’ll do it in November, if not, we’ll do it in April.”