The national spotlight is on Houston, Texas for the extravagant mess that is the NBA All-Star Weekend while college basketball fans are left in disarray. However, the Space City’s emerging star is turning heads in Eugene, Oregon.
Oregon had one of the more impressive PAC-12 recruiting classes in 2012, mostly because of the signing of five-star point guard Dominic Artis. But after missing the last seven games with a left-foot injury, the door has been left wide open for new talent on the Ducks team.
Houston native Damyean Dotson is ready for a little attention.
The Ducks have certainly suffered since losing Artis — Oregon lost three straight games to conference opponents — but Dotson is emerging as the top freshman for Oregon. Dotson was only considered a three-star recruit in the Class of 2012. Now, the point guard appears to be a possible NBA lottery draft pick in the near future.
In his last three games Dotson has finished with 16, 13 and 16 points respectively, each of which resulted in Oregon wins. The recent three game winning streak has allowed the Ducks to pull away from a once three-way tie for first place in the conference with Arizona and UCLA. Most importantly Dotson’s strong performance lifted Oregon to a 79-77 win over Washington State on the road in overtime.
Dontson’s six points in the second half allowed Oregon to go on a 15-5 run which decreased the Cougars’ lead to one. With 3.8 seconds remaining, two free throws by E.J. Singler sealed the victory for the Ducks.
In the end, it appears Artis’ injury couldn’t have come at a better time for the Ducks. Not only have the found a star in Dotson, but Oregon has found a way to win without their star point guard. As the rest of the PAC-12 continues to struggle (Arizona State, UCLA and Arizona have all struggled to maintain composure) Oregon is standing out as the favorite to win the conference tournament.
Though it’s difficult to tell what might transpire come March postseason games, Oregon can rest assured that Dotson will be stealing some of the spotlight very soon.