UNC Identified Dozier Early

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Early in the recruiting cycle, the Tar Heels identified the guard position as a need in the class of 2015.

The UNC staff identified P.J. Dozier as a worthy target shortly thereafter and he then earned a scholarship offer from Roy Williams last summer.

"They've watched me for a long time and have told me my style of play is the right style of play for the University of North Carolina," Dozier said. "I see it as well. Coach Roy… his program is a great program. Yearly they are always one of the top teams in the NCAA. UNC's guards are versatile as well, like P.J. Hairston. You can put him at any position on the court and he'll take advantage of it."

Williams and assistant C.B. McGrath first watched Dozier at the Chick-fil-A classic in December 2012. The UNC staff tracked him through his high school season, with Williams visiting Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley several times during 2013.

"I've learned a lot about him," his father, Perry Dozier Sr., said of Williams. "I can't say enough about his staff. Coach is so real. I remember when he first talked to P.J. in my office; he said ‘You don't have to give me a decision right now. Go through your recruiting process, enjoy yourself and make the best decision for you.' His honesty is probably the best quality a coach can get."

UNC's 2013-14 team has made 88 three-pointers through 23 games this season, the fewest in the ACC. It's 31. 9 shooting percentage from beyond the arc is tied for 11th in the conference with Clemson.

While 2014 signees Joel Berry, Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson bring competency from beyond the arc, UNC fans have pined for a guard whose strength is shooting.

Dozier and his father believe he fits the bill.

"I can score the ball," said Dozier. "One of the things I've been able to do with the injury is shoot. I feel like I'm good from deep range."

Added Dozier Sr.: "I've heard somebody say he's a shooter; then I heard someone say he's just a scorer and doesn't shoot it as well. II think the most underrated part of his game is how he gets other players involved. He feeds the post and just making things happen. But he can definitely score."

Clemson, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio State and South Carolina were among the schools to offer Dozier prior to his junior season. He has strong ties to the Gamecocks, as his father, uncle (Terry), and sister (Asia) all played basketball in Columbia. Asia is a sophomore on the women's basketball team.

Despite the family links to South Carolina basketball, Dozier said he doesn't feel any pressure to carry on the tradition.

"I'm wide open," he said. "My family has supported me 100 percent, but we all say the same thing ‘P.J. will make the decision that best fits him.' I'm glad my family could all be at USC and make a good name for us, but when it all comes down to it I'm going to be making the right decision for me and the right program that fits me."

For Dozier Sr., the right program will treat his son fairly, genuinely want him on its basketball team and look after him away from the basketball court.

"It's all about how someone really treats you," he explained. "College can be a bad experience if you go to a school under false pretense. The school needs to have players around you that can play as well, that's important. If you're hoping to bring in guys with you and they don't come, then you're in trouble. He wants to win and he's a winner. Being able to play on TV often is big, and you want to be able to play in front of a crowd. You don't want to go to a school that has a high school crowd."

In the coming weeks, Dozier hopes to trim his list to a final five schools to officially visit. At some point, he'll spend more time in Chapel Hill.

"North Carolina will definitely get a visit," he said.

P.J. Dozier Profile


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