In the opening round of the Pangos Summer Sweet 16, Tyler Dorsey and his AAU squad Belmont Shore found themselves in a tie game, 67-67, against Team Vegas Elite. Vegas had just rallied from a double-digit deficit to tie the game and Dorsey and his teammates had fifteen seconds to score and avoid overtime and the possibility of an embarrassing loss.
Belmont Shore coach Dinos Trigonis called timeout but he did not draw up a play. He just made sure the ball got into the hands of his five-star point guard.
Dorsey did not disappoint.
He dribbled the ball a couple of times around the three-point before throwing up a shot. It went in and Dorsey began to celebrate with his teammates but just then the referee blew his whistle. He ruled Dorsey was fouled before he began his shooting motion. The basket was called off and Dorsey had to shoot two free throws.
No problem. Dorsey sank both attempts from the charity stripe and Belmont Shore held on for the 69-67 win.
"I missed (free throws) in a big game my sophomore year so I just think about that when I go to the line," Dorsey said of his game-winning effort. "I want the last shot. I didn't know they called a foul but it didn't matter because I made the free throws anyways. I try to thrive in those moments."
This no-fear attitude is a big reason Dorsey is one of the top-rated point guards in the country. After de-committing from Arizona last month, Dorsey has attracted the interest from a number of top schools such as Louisville, Florida, and Georgetown. UCLA and Arizona State assistants watched him at the Sweet 16 and members of the Oregon and Michigan staffs were watching him at the Battle-at the Beach tournament in Los Angeles during the second July open period.
SMU also has shown some interest in Dorsey, a rising-senior. Assistant coach K.T. Turner reached out to Trigonis after Dorsey de-committed and Turner and head coach Larry Brown were among those in attendance to watch Dorsey at Battle-at the Beach.
"I haven't talked to the (SMU) coaches yet. I know they reached out to Dinos but I haven't talked to them on the phone yet," Dorsey said. "My interest is pretty high. They just got Emmanuel (Mudiay) and I think I can play a very similar role. I'm going to watch this season, I think SMU will have a very interesting team."
Dorsey said that just days before Mudiay announced his decision to forgo college and pursue a career overseas. After the announcement, Dorsey said that it did not affect his interest-level in SMU "at all."
The young player was happy to have a coach of Brown's caliber watching him play.
"I saw him up there in the stands. That was pretty cool," Dorsey said. "I'm just trying to show all of these coaches what I can do when I'm out on the court." [rl]
While Dorsey has been recruited by a number of traditional national powers, he says that name-recognition will not play into his decision.
"I don't look at the school's name because if you look at the (NBA Draft), that dude out of Lafayette, if you can play they will find you," Dorsey said. "It's all about just getting better and performing at the next level. That's all it comes down to, that and a great relationship with the coach and a good education."
Dorsey also said that geography would not be a factor in his college decision and that he will be very deliberate with the process after "rushing in" when he committed to Arizona.
While the 6-foot-4 Dorsey is labelled as a combo guard, and he does have an incredible knack for scoring, watching him play it is clear that he has a pass-first attitude; Dorsey rarely if ever misses a chance to pass to an open teammate.
"I feel that at the beginning (the defense) is going to key on me and if they key on me I'm going to kick it to a shooter and just keep building their confidence if they knock it down," Dorsey said. "I'm gonna keep giving it to them if they are open."
But when the game is on the line, Dorsey knows where the ball belongs.
Squarely in his hands.
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