Dotson standing tall for UF


Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.

Facts

UF women's basketball

WHO: No. 24 Florida (15-3, 3-2 SEC) at Arkansas (12-6, 4-1).
WHEN: 8 tonight WHERE: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Ark.
ON AIR: Cox Cable channel 67/103.7 FM

In the world of women's basketball, Marshae Dotson is a short post player. Standing just 5-foot-11, Dotson often finds herself mixing it up with players four or five inches taller.
But this freshman forward is still standing tall.
Dotson is developing into a formidable weapon for the No. 24 Gators (15-3, 3-2 SEC), heading into today's 8 p.m. game at Arkansas (12-6, 4-1). Dotson has a simple explanation for her ability to overcome her lack of height.
"I guess I'm just hungry," Dotson said. "You can do anything as long as you're hungry."
Lately, Dotson has had an appetite for scoring and rebounding. Through her first five Southeastern Conference games, a time when many freshman struggle, Dotson has gotten stronger. She's averaging 9.4 points and 5.8 rebounds off the bench in SEC play while shooting 67.9 percent from the field.
Dotson has scored in double digits in back-to-back games. She scored 13 points in Florida's win at Ole Miss last Thursday and went for a team- and career-high 17 points in Sunday's upset of nationally ranked Vanderbilt. Dotson shot 11-for-12 from the field in those games.
Teammate Brittany Davis said Dotson has been able to handle the physical nature of the SEC because of her strength. Davis says Dotson, despite her height, is one of the strongest players on the team.
"She's a real strong individual," Davis said. "She lifts heavy weights. She doesn't lift like a freshman."
When Carolyn Peck signed this year's freshman class, a lot of attention was put on Florida's other two freshman post players - Jessica Jackson and Brooke Cornish - because of their height. Jackson is 6-3 while Cornish is 6-4. But Dotson has made the biggest splash so far.
"She's stepping up real big especially when opposing teams are doubling me and Dalila," Davis said. "She's finding the gaps and scoring close to the basket. Her concentration has definitely improved over the past few games."
Dotson was a standout starter at Mifflin High in Columbus, Ohio, where she averaged 18.9 points her senior season and was rated as the No. 30 senior in Blue Star's listing of the nation's top 100 seniors.
She's adjusting well to her new role as a reserve. But those who knew her in high school shouldn't be shocked.
Dotson exemplified her selflessness her senior season when she offered to let a freshman start in her place to prove a point: It doesn't matter when you play, but how you play.
"The people who start start the tempo of the game," Dotson said. "The advantage of sitting on the bench is you see what you can do to help out the team. You can see what people are doing and what people aren't doing. When you come in you know what to do."
You can reach Brandon Zimmerman by calling 374-5051 or by e-mail at zimmerb@gvillesun.com.

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