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Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley guard P.J. Dozier suffered a serious knee injury before he could ever suit up for a game in his junior season. A torn ACL will cause him to miss the whole season, but he hopes to be back in time for travel season.
"I'm sitting this whole season with my injury," Dozier told Rivals.com. "I had surgery back in September, and I should be ready to start playing in two months right around when AAU season starts."
Despite the injury, Dozier remains a top target for some of the best basketball programs around the country.
"All of the schools that have been recruiting me heavily from the start are still coming after me like North Carolina, Kansas, Ohio State, Clemson, South Carolina, Michigan and Indiana. I probably talk to North Carolina the most," Dozier said.
The next step in the recruiting process for Dozier will be taking some visits to get a closer look at the programs he's most serious about.
"I haven't set up any visits yet, but I know I'll be taking some soon," Dozier said. "I'll probably be taking some in the next month or two. A couple might be official, but some might be unofficial. I just need to get my schedule and see how that plays out with AAU."
North Carolina offered Dozier last summer after a strong July performance with the Upward Stars.
"They have a great program," Dozier said. "It's always been everybody's dream school. There are a lot of good things to say about their program that I don't even know where to start. Coach Roy (Williams) is a great guy. I love their staff and the fact they are recruiting me as hard as they are. I usually talk to Coach Roy."
Frank Martin made Dozier a priority from the minute he accepted the job at South Carolina.
"I also love South Carolina's staff," Dozier admitted. "I talk to Frank Martin a lot and Coach Lamont (Evans). With them being right down the street, that's a big plus. They are still building up their program, and Coach Martin is doing a great job."
Dozier's family has a long history of playing for the Gamecocks.
"My uncle, my dad and now my sister all played at South Carolina," Dozier said. "I don't really feel any pressure. Everybody in my family already established that my decision will be the best decision for me and not just trying to keep the line going at South Carolina. It's just whatever program I decide is the best program for me."
South Carolina's biggest rival has also caught the attention of Dozier.
"I like Clemson a lot," said Dozier. "I've been there multiple times now. I like the atmosphere and I like their staff up there. I talk to Coach (Steve) Smith a lot and Coach (Brad) Brownell too. Their team is doing really well. They just had a huge win over Duke the other day."
Ohio State assistant Dave Dickerson, a South Carolina native, is working hard to keep the Buckeyes in the mix for Dozier.
"Ohio State is also one of the top schools every year. You can't ever go wrong with a top school like Ohio State. I talk to Coach Dickerson a lot. Hopefully they'll be one of the schools I go see in a few weeks or so. They are one of the schools we've been talking about getting to," Dozier said.
A decision from Dozier might not be too far away once he starts taking visits.
"I haven't really thought about when I'll make a decision, but it will be fairly soon after I take my official visits," Dozier explained. "I'm just looking for a school where I know I can go in and make a positive impact and help the team. I want to be able to gel well with the team and the coaches and feel at home.
"Also, I want to go where I'll have the best chance to eventually get to the next level. Most of the schools are telling me I'll play point guard, but they always throw in being able to move off the ball and that's cool with me. I always say the more positions I can play, the better chance I'll have at getting out on the court."
Dan McDonald is a contributing national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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