Josiah Dotzler is inching closer to his childhood dream of playing Division I college basketball. The 6-3, 180-pound guard has received three scholarship offers to date; Liberty, Indiana State and Drake.
July will be a big month for the Bellevue West senior-to-be. Playing on the Nike EYBL circuit for Mokan Elite, Dotzler is hoping to play well enough to pop on a few more schools’ radar.
“Mid Majors are holding back a little because they think I might end up with power conference options,” Dotzler said. “I’m kind of in a middle area right now. I am hoping for a great July.
June has been great for Dotzler and his T-Bird teammates. Although it doesn’t guarantee a title in March, the 2022 and 2021 Class A runner-up T-Birds ended the summer (June) undefeated in large part to Dotzler’s elevated play.
Creighton, Illinois State and Colorado State are three schools that haven’t offered yet but have been in regular contact with Dotzler.
“I have been on a lot of unofficial’s to Creighton recently and Illinois State has been trying to get me on an official for a long time,” he said. “Colorado State has talked to me a lot recently and been consistent.”
Dotzler has been to Drake and Indiana State for unofficial visits in the last year. Tuesday, Dotzler was on Creighton’s campus for the fourth time this month outside of the Creighton team camp earlier this month.
“I played well at their (Creighton) team camp so I went back the next day and played with their guys,” he said. “They have been saying they really like me but they are really backed up at the guard spot. They said they want to see how July goes and we will talk more about what they are thinking in August.”
“They (CU) have mentioned potentially redshirting or attending a prep school for a year,” he said. “We will see how the summer goes and the conversations from there.”
Dotzler grew up around the Creighton program, the second youngest of 14 Dotzler children, his brother Josh, a former Bellevue West and Creighton star, has been through the recruiting process and is one of the trusted resources Dotzler looks to for advice.
“He really wants to be a part of my recruiting process,” Josiah said of his older brother. “As soon as I started getting calls from coaches he was one of the first people to step in and help me.”
Josh has been there and done that. He was a two-time state player of the year in high school for the same Bellevue West T-Birds and legendary coach Doug Woodard that Josiah plays for.
“He has been really encouraging as far as telling me to not be afraid to share my thoughts with him,” the younger Dotzler said. “He has been a big help in the (recruiting) process so far.”
It’s not just Josh that has been an integral part of Josiah’s basketball career to this point. His father Ron has helped Bellevue West as a volunteer assistant coach of sorts since 2001.
The connection to Drake is former Creighton assistant and current Bulldog head coach Darian DeVries, someone the Dotzler family has known for over 20 years. DeVries spent some time watching Dotzler at the Midwest D1 Basketball Showcase in suburban Kansas City earlier this month and was in regular attendance at his AAU games in the spring.
If the Bluejays like Dotzler they could encourage him to go the route of former Omaha Burke guard and current Bluejay Shereef Mitchell. Mitchell attended Sunrise Christian Academy for a post grad season prior to his arrival at Creighton.
I've watched 10 of Bellevue West's games this month start to finish. In those 10 games, 2023 PG @JosiahDotzler averaged 19.1 PPG on 60% FG (39.3% 3FG) and 5.0 APG with a 3.3 ast/tov ratio. He's had games of 30, 26, 26, 22 and 21+10 assists. He's been terrific in June.
— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) June 27, 2022