Freshman Focus: Jeff Dowtin (Rhode Island)

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Player Profile

When you think about Rhode Island’s backcourt this coming season, you don’t typically think of the freshmen. E.C. Matthews, Jarvis Garrett, and Jared Terrell should make up the best backcourt in the A-10 next season. But when the star upperclassmen are gone, someone else is going to have to take the reigns at the top of the key, and Jeff Dowtin could be the player to do just that. Dowtin is a consensus 3 star recruit according to a number of different sites, and ESPN has the freshman ranked as high as 42nd for his position. Verbal Commits and Scout list him as a shooting guard, but ESPN lists him as a point guard. My guess is that he’ll see playing time at both the 1 and 2 over the next couple seasons. The 6-3, 180 lb. guard from St. John’s High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland had offers from a variety of schools including A-10 members George Mason and Saint Joseph’s. He ultimately chose the Rams.

If you watch Dowtin play, you’ll notice that he plays very big and long for his position. Jeff Dowtin doesn’t let smaller defenders take advantage of him, and if he wants to get to the hoop, he’ll use his size to do so. He’s also got the ability to knock down the outside jumper, but possibly the best part of Dowtin’s game is his passing. He delivers dimes through cutting defenders with ease, and he should be a very effective backcourt addition to the Rams in the upcoming season. There is no pass that Jeff Dowtin can’t make, and he’s deadly when he’s got numbers in transition. Look for him to be a dynamic scorer as well as passer in his tenure in Rhode Island.

Potential Impact

Jeff Dowtin is the only incoming freshman that will join Rhody’s backcourt; the other three will be key frontcourt additions. After Garrett, Terrell, and Matthews graduate in 2018, Dowtin could be the next point guard for Dan Hurley’s squad. If he can display his ability to distribute effectively, there’s no doubt that he could emerge as a starter in the A-10 conference. Though he’ll play off the bench for most of his first two seasons, he should get valuable minutes that will help him grow so that he’s ready to lead this team once Rhode Island’s talented upperclassmen leave the program.

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About Author

Grant Labedz is a college basketball superfan who loves the entire sport but definitely has favorites in the A-10 and the Big Ten. He has written for SB Nation's BT Powerhouse (Big Ten Basketball) and The Champaign Room (Illinois Basketball). He also co-founded his own Illinois Basketball blog called The Groce Report. Grant is a member of the Davidson Class of 2020. Shoot him an email at [email protected] Follow @GrantLabedz

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