Tyler Dorsey Enhancing Reputation with Classy Handling of Decommit from Arizona

Jason KingSenior Writer, B/R MagJune 18, 2014

St. John Bosco guard Tyler Dorsey, center, eludes Folsom center Colin Russell on a drive to the basket during the third quarter of the boys' Division 2 CIF basketball championship game Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. St. John Bosco won 63-54. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A phone call wouldn’t have been enough.

At least not for Tyler Dorsey.

When backing out of his verbal commitment to Arizona last week, the standout point guard and consensus top-25 recruit felt obligated to explain his decision not only to coach Sean Miller, but to Wildcats fans as well.

“That,” Dorsey said, “is why I wrote the letter.”

In a 265-word statement that was e-mailed to recruiting writers (as well as 18 potential new suitors), Dorsey expressed gratitude toward Miller, his staff and Wildcats supporters. In retrospect, though, he said he rushed his decision, adding that he never even took official visits to other campuses. He said he owed it to himself to reopen his recruitment.

“I hope that most will realize and respect my right to do what is best for my basketball and academic career,” Dorsey wrote. “Thank you for understanding.”

Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

By penning the letter, Dorsey defused what could’ve been a prickly situation and likely enhanced his reputation. The move said a lot about his character, which is one of the many traits that will impress the dozens of coaches who will pursue him this summer.

Dorsey said he’s already heard from schools such as Louisville, Florida, Oregon, Cal, Georgetown and Arizona State. He also said he’d be interested in Duke if the Blue Devils called, which they haven’t.

Some experts have said Connecticut may be an option. Dorsey hails from Los Angeles, the same city where Huskies coach Kevin Ollie attended high school. And incoming Connecticut freshman Daniel Hamilton is an L.A. native. Dorsey, however, didn’t mention the Huskies Wednesday, although it could’ve been by accident.

“I can’t even remember all the schools that have called,” Dorsey said. “Everyone is trying to get me on their campus. I’m open to every school in the country. I could go East or stay in the Midwest. It really doesn’t matter.”

Dorsey, who committed to Arizona in January, is looking forward to building relationships with the coaches who never had much of a chance before last week.

Dorsey isn’t one to back down from competition. Still, he’d prefer a school where there is an opportunity for immediate playing time.

“I’ll look at the guard situations at each school,” he said. “Who is going to stay? Who is leaving? Who are they recruiting in my class to bring in with me? What is their system and how are they going to use me in it?

Top Shooting Guards in the Class of 2015
PlayerClass of 2015 Ranking
Malik NewmanNo. 3
Malachi RichardsonNo. 15
Antonio BlakeneyNo. 16
Allonzo TrierNo. 19
Isaiah BriscoeNo. 20
Justin SimonNo. 23
Tyler DorseyNo. 24

“Wherever you go, someone (good) is going to be there. I feel like I can play with anyone in the country. But minutes do matter at the end of the day.”

Dorsey has been tagged as a potential combo guard in college. But at 6’2”, he knows his NBA future is at the point.

“Unless I get to 6’6”, I don’t see myself being a shooting guard,” Dorsey said. “I just feel like at the next level, (point guard) would be best. Then my draft stock would even be higher because I’d be a tall point guard.”

And a scoring point guard, at that—much like Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook or Portland’s Damian Lillard.

“Those guys can score, but they’re playmakers at the same time." Dorsey said. “Hopefully I’ll get there someday, too.”


Jason King covers college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JasonKingBR