EL PASO - The Memphis Tigers come into the Don Haskins Center with a 53-game winning streak in Conference USA play. Can the Miners end it? Minerdigs.net Staff Writer Eddie Delgado explains and mentions a few notables who were at Friday afternoon's practice.
HEADER ROBERT LORENZO DOZIER, Jr. Small Forward/Power Forward University of Memphis Tigers #2 6:08.5-220 Lithonia, Georgia Laurinburg Prep Lithonia High School
OVERVIEW With the departures of Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey, Dozier was expected to take on one of the team's top offensive roles as a senior. He worked hard during the offseason and gained strength from his dedication in the weight room the last year and a half, proving to be a capable finisher around the rim. While that work did see him improve on his scoring, it was just a slight bump up from an average of 9.2 points in 2007-08 to 12.9 points per game in his final season.
Dozier also demonstrated that he has range out to the three-point line (made 37.5 percent of those chances compared to 30.3 percent the previous season), but he is better from the mid-range and in, converting 51.9 percent of his field-goal opportunities as a senior from the 44.0 percent mark he generated in 2007-08.
The power forward proved that he could use his 7'3" wingspan to his advantage, as he steadily increased his rebounding averages each season with the Tigers (from 5.5 rpg as a freshman to 7.5 rpg as a senior). He not only showed his ability to keep possessions alive by offensive rebounds/tips with his length (388 of his 960 rebounds came from the offensive glass), but he was also able to block and alter shots on the defensive end with his wingspan (fifth in school history with 228 blocks).
Dozier was a two-time All-State selection at Lithonia High School. He was named the DeKalb County Player of the Year as a senior and had career averages of 22.3 points, 13.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.7 blocks.
In 2004-05, Dozier attended Laurinburg Prep, joining Louisiana State center Chris Johnson in forming one of the most formidable frontcourts in the prep ranks, leading the team to the national championship. That year, he averaged 14.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game to help the team compile a 40-0 record. He ranked among the nation's top 100 players by Prep Stars' Rob Harrington on USAToday.com and was rated among the country's top 75 players by Scout.com.
Dozier started three of the 37 games he played in during 2005-06 for Memphis. He averaged 5.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, ranking among the Conference USA leaders (all games) in rebounding (14th with 203) and blocked shots (7th with 42). He shot 40.4 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the foul line, adding 22 assists and 21 steals.
Dozier moved into the Tigers' frontcourt as a sophomore, starting 36 of 37 games. He helped the team with an average of 9.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game. He ranked among the Conference USA leaders in rebounding (7th, 231 total, field-goal percentage (13th at 47.1 percent) and blocked shots (7th, 57 total).
As a junior, Dozier played in 37 games, starting 36 contests, as he missed two late November games due to a foot injury and did not play in a mid-February clash as a result of being suspended for violation of team policy. He was the team's third-leading scorer (9.2 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (6.8 rpg), as he also ranked second in blocks with 68.
In his final campaign, Dozier ranked second on the team in scoring with a career-high 477 points (12.9 ppg). He shot 51.9 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three-point range, both career highs. He pulled down 276 boards (7.5 rpg), blocked 61 shots (1.6 rpg) and also showed impressive passing skills, handing out 53 assists (1.4 apg) while disrupting the passing lanes with 47 steals (1.3 spg).
2008-09 SEASON All-Conference USA second-team and C-USA All-Defensive Team choice...Member of the Conference USA All-Tournament team...Started 36 of 37 games, ranking second on the team with a career-high 477 points (12.9 ppg), as he was successful on 166 of 320 field goals (career-high 51.9 percent), 21 of 56 three-pointers (career-high 37.5 percent) and 124 of 172 free throws (72.1 percent)...Ranked second on the squad with a career-high 276 rebounds (7.5 rpg), as he paced the Tigers with 61 blocked shots (1.6 bpg)...Handed out a career-high 53 assists (1.4 apg) to go with his career-high 47 steals (1.3 spg)...Produced double figures in scoring in 28 games and had 10 contests with at least 10 rebounds, delivering on eight double-double performances...Charged with 74 turnovers, 101 personal fouls and two game disqualifications.
2007-08 SEASON Played in 37 games, starting 36 contests, as Dozier missed two late November games vs. Arkansas State and Austin Peay due to a foot sprain and did not play in a mid-February game vs. Southern Methodist as a result of being suspended for violation of team policy...Ranked third on the team in scoring with 339 points (9.2 ppg), as he connected on 79 of 117 free throws (67.5 percent), 30.3 percent of his three-pointers (10 of 33) and 44.0 percent from the field (125 of 284)...Ranked second on the squad with 68 blocked shots (1.8 bpg) and placed fourth on the team with 41 steals (1.1 spg)...Had 53 assists (1.1 apg) and 250 rebounds (6.8 rpg), with 97 coming from the offensive glass...Recorded five double-double performances and had at least 10 rebounds in nine contests...Collected 74 turnovers with 99 personal fouls that included three game disqualifications.
2006-07 SEASON Played in all 37 games and started 36 contests, as his lone missed start came on Tiger Senior Day (Jeremy Hunt got the start in his place)...Ranked among Conference USA leaders in rebounding (7th), field-goal percentage (13th) and blocked shots (7th)...Scored 357 points (9.6 ppg), as he delivered on 130 of 276 field goals (47.1 percent), 12 of 41 treys (29.3 percent) and 85 of 134 free throws (63.4 percent)...Totaled 57 blocked shots (1.5 bpg) and 231 rebounds (6.2 rpg)...Dished out 39 assists (1.1 apg) to go with 35 steals (0.9 spg), but was charged with 70 turnovers and a career-high 107 personal fouls that included five game disqualifications.
2005-06 SEASON Saw action in all 37 games, making three starts... Averaged 5.6 points (207 total), as he shot 40.4 percent from the field (69 of 171), 22.2 percent from three-point territory (6 of 27) and 75.0 percent from the line (63 of 84)...Ranked among Conference USA leaders (all games) in rebounding (14th) and blocked shots (7th)...Had 231 rebounds (6.2 rpg) with 57 blocked shots (1.5 bpg), as he also posted 39 assists (1.1 apg) and 35 steals (0.9 spg)...Added 44 turnovers, 72 personal fouls and one game disqualification.
CAREER NOTES Dozier started 111 of 148 games at Memphis. Only Joey Dorsey (149, 2004-08) played in more games for the Tigers...Ranks 13th in school history with 1,380 points scored (9.3 ppg), as he made 46.6 percent of his field goals (490 of 1,051), 31.2 percent of his three-point tries (49 of 157) and 69.2 percent of his shots from the foul line (attempted 507 free throws, as his 351 made shots rank ninth in school history while logging 3,724 minutes of action, the ninth-highest total by a Memphis Tiger...Pulled down 960 rebounds (6.5 rpg), ranking sixth on the school career record list...Handed out 153 assists (1.0 apg) and had 144 steals (1.0 spg)...His 228 blocked shots (1.5 bpg) rank fifth in Memphis annals...Charged with 245 turnovers, 379 personal fouls and 11 game disqualifications...Part of a graduating class that registered 137 wins during the last four seasons, a school record.
HIGH SCHOOL Dozier was a two-time All-State selection at Lithonia (Ga.) High School...Named the DeKalb County Player of the Year as a senior...Had career averages of 22.3 points, 13.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.7 blocks.
PREP SCHOOL: Attended Laurinburg (N.C.) Prep in 2004-05, leading the team to a 40-0 record and the national championship...Averaged 14.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game...Ranked among the nation's top 100 players by Prep Stars' Rob Harrington on USAToday.com and was rated among the country's top 75 players by Scout.com.
INJURY REPORT 2007-08 Season: Sat out the Arkansas State (11/20) and Austin Peay (11/27) games with a foot sprain.
PERSONAL Interdisciplinary Studies major...Son of Jackie and Robert Dozier, Sr...Born Robert Lorenzo Dozier Jr., on 11/06/85...Resides in Lithonia, Georgia.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Athletic and versatile forward who has played the four-position in college, but with his developing offensive game and lack of bulk to pound it inside vs. NBA physical frontcourt types, he could make an easy adjustment to the three-spot...Has good court quickness and stamina, evident by the long stretches of time he generates on the court (ranks ninth in school history with 3,724 minutes of action)...Because of his quickness, wing span and work ethic, he is capable of defending at multiple positions, as he excels in the front-court press and is very active with his hands in the pick-&-roll defense, coming up with 144 steals during his career, as he stays low in his stance and presses hard when staying in front of his man in the passing lanes...Has the balance to switch off on screens and while he is just an adequate rebounder, he uses his length, elevation and timing to be a great shot blocker in the post...Has good muscle tone and has the long reach to alter the opponent's shots, ranking fifth in school annals with 228 blocks...Does not do it often, but showed in 2008-09 that he is capable of making the long-range shots on occasion (37.5 percent three-point shooter) and when he does bounce out on the perimeter, it forces his man out of the paint to defend...Shows adequate rebounding skills (better on the offensive glass, where he got 388 of his 960 boards) and does a nice job of posting up from the small forward slot...Efficient coming off down screens and has a smooth release when working at the free throw line (improved to 72.1 percent as a senior from 67.5 percent the previous season)... Takes pride in his defensive skills, staying in front of his man while keeping his hands active in attempts to steal...Generates a relatively strong charge driving to the basket and has enough quickness to separate...Knows how to use his long arms and reach to take his man off the dribble and has shown decent ball-handling skills, collecting a career-high 53 assists as a senior in limited minutes at the point forward spot...Needs to uses his mid-range jumper more often, but showed in 2008-09 that he is the type of player that will get into a nice scoring rhythm...Good finisher when going to the rim and knows how to draw contact to get to the free-throw line...Sets his feet well before firing and will crash the boards for the rebound or put-backs with good urgency...Times his leaps well and gets good elevation attacking the glass...Has good court vision and decision-making process and has developed into a decent ball-handler, showing good accuracy on his passes... Has the quick feet and desire to work both ends of the floor on defense.
Negatives: Comfortable at power forward, but does not have the bulk you look for to play that position in the NBA. And as a small forward, he might have problems shooting off the dribble (needs to play with a tighter handle)...Improved his perimeter shooting, but it was rare to see him executing those shots until his senior season and when he did, he rushed his shot and did not set his feet well to get spacing (sometimes fade away too much)...Has good size for a small forward, but he is never going to be able to establish good position under the boards at power forward due to just average strength...Good passer, but will lose his handle on the ball when he has to suddenly change direction...Predictable shooter who rarely goes to his left hand...Must learn to play lower to the ground, as he gets too upright in his stance when trying to face up to perimeter shooters.
Compares To: HAKIM WARRICK, Memphis -- Some experts felt that Dozier could have been a borderline first rounder in last year's draft, but he decided to return to school. He improved his offensive game a bit, but it was not enough to upgrade his draft stock. He gets pushed around quite a bit by the more physical power forwards and while he does play good defense, he needs to learn how to play with a lower center of gravity to handle the speedier NBA perimeter wings.