KU basketball’s Dotson, Grimes withdraw from draft, but Grimes plans to transfer

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas freshmen Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes withdrew from the NBA draft ahead of Wednesday night’s deadline, while Grimes also announced that he would transfer elsewhere for his sophomore year.

The two guards went through various camps and combines to determine whether they would be chosen in this year’s draft. After consulting with their families and Kansas coach Bill Self, both decided it would be in their best interest to spend another year refining their games.

Talen Horton-Tucker #11 of the Iowa State Cyclones shoots as Quentin Grimes #5 of the Kansas Jayhawks defends during the Big 12 Basketball Tournament Finals at Sprint Center on March 16, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

For Dotson, that means returning to Kansas, where he averaged 12.3 points and 3.5 assists last season. He was voted third-team All-Big 12 and picked to the league’s all-freshman team, and is in line to run the backcourt following the transfer of Charlie Moore after last season.

“Devon called me about 7 p.m. this evening to confirm he was withdrawing from the NBA draft and will be returning,” Self said. “The process did what is was supposed to do, which allows players to participate, be seen and receive feedback. After visiting with his family multiple times, Devon came to the conclusion that it was in his best interest to return to school.”

His decision came one day after five-star prospect R.J. Hampton announced that he was signing with a professional team in New Zealand rather than attending college. Hampton was considering Kansas, among other schools, and his decision may have played a factor in Dotson’s own decision.

TCU guard Desmond Bane (1) attempts to strip the ball away from Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) as TCU head coach Jamie Dixon, right, watches in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Fort Worth, Texas, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Now, there is little in the way of Dotson running the point for the Jayhawks next season.

Grimes did not say where he intended to transfer after a disappointing freshman year with the Jayhawks. The 6-foot-5 swingman, who averaged just 8.4 points and 2.4 rebounds, prefers to play point guard but mostly played shooting guard at Kansas — a likely factor in his decision.

“We initially anticipated him staying in the draft,” Self said, “but he and his family decided to return to Kansas but not return to the University of Kansas. We totally support and respect Quentin and his decision and wish him the very best moving forward.”

The Jayhawks’ roster is finally taking shape after a long, tumultuous offseason.

Dedric Lawson left for the draft and his brother, K.J. Lawson, joined Moore in transferring. The Jayhawks also were uncertain whether power forward Silvio De Sousa would be granted his appeal to the NCAA to play next season after his name surfaced in the FBI’s probe into college basketball.

De Sousa was cleared next week, giving the Jayhawks a stacked front court with 7-footer Udoka Azubuike — who is coming off wrist surgery — and former five-star recruit David McCormack.

Kansas also returns swingmen Marcus Garrett and Ochai Agbaji, both of whom play significant minutes last season, and a promising freshman class in 6-foot point guard Isaac McBride, 6-6 shooting guard Christian Braun and 6-9 small forward Tristan Enaruna.

The Jayhawks also remain in the hunt for talented forward Jalen Wilson, who backed out of his commitment to Michigan when coach John Beilein left for the Cavalier. The top-50 forward is visiting Kansas this week, North Carolina next week, and is considering Florida and Oklahoma State.

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