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Points of contention

Dockery, Roberson friendship survives recruiting wars

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Posted: Wednesday July 11, 2001 6:24 PM
Updated: Wednesday July 11, 2001 7:49 PM
  Sean Dockery Sean Dockery is the likely candidate to replace Duke's current point guard, Jason Williams.

By Travis Richmond,

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Top players at the adidas ABCD camp have several schools lusting after them, but in some cases, the tables are turned. Similar players sometimes compete against each hoping for a scholarship offer from the same school.

Such was the case with Anthony Roberson and Sean Dockery, two of the top point guards in the class of 2002. Roberson ranks as the No. 5 senior prospect according to's Brick Oettinger, while Dockery is ranked No. 8. Both are competing at this year's ABCD camp at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Among the many college coaches at the camp is Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who was recruiting both guards as recently as last week. But the Devils had a choice to make between the two players as to who was going to replace current point guard Jason Williams, who is expected to leave for the NBA following his junior season.

"It was between me or Sean. Coach K told me that," Roberson said. "He didn't offer me [a scholarship] right away, but he didn't offer Sean either."

One likely hold-up: Neither player has yet qualified academically to play as a freshman. Roberson has taken the ACT once and is yet to receive the score; Dockery's most recent attempt fell short.

Roberson, a lightning-quick 6-foot point guard from Saginaw, Mich., was also seriously considering Florida and Michigan State, where he was feeling pressured to go and stay in his home state. Dockery, meanwhile, said all along he wanted to play for Duke.

"If it came down to it, I would have had to choose another school, but my mom, father, friends, little kids, everybody wanted me to go to Duke," said Dockery, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Chicago. "I have been wearing Duke jerseys for a long time. I already knew where I was going."

After meeting with Krzyzewski and failing to receive a scholarship offer, Roberson shifted his attention to Florida and coach Billy Donovan, whose up-tempo offense was a major draw.

"The biggest thing was their style of play," Roberson said. "I want to go somewhere I am going to have the ball in my hands and be able to make decisions, and that is a place where I could see that."

As a result, Roberson committed to Florida early last week after meeting with Donovan.

"I took it as Coach Donovan wanting me bad and that I was the guard he wanted," Roberson said. "I feel like Florida fit me the best of all the programs recruiting me, so I committed to Florida and let Sean do what he was going to do."

A few days later, Duke offered a scholarship to Dockery, which he quickly accepted.

"You can't say anything negative about the Duke program. It is something I have been waiting for since I was a little kid," Dockery said. "It's my dream school."

Such competition would make most players jealous of one another, but not Roberson and Dockery. The two are in fact close friends, having known each other for four years through summer leagues and all-star camps such as ABCD. They are even roommates this week.

Roberson said he understands why some people would expect him and Dockery to be rivals, but that nothing could be further from the truth.

"That's the funny part. It was never the case where I said, 'Sean, you are my enemy because we have the same school recruiting us,' " Roberson said. "Sean and I are going to be friends forever no matter what. I am happy he is at Duke and I am pretty sure he is happy I am at Florida."

Dockery said he enjoyed going through the recruiting process with Roberson and the two would talk about the experiences they were having while deciding what schools to choose.

"He told me he liked Duke, and I said liked Duke. He also told me he liked Florida," Dockery said. "Everybody who was recruiting him was also recruiting me, and we talked about it. I wasn't worried about what decision he made."

And while an offer from Duke never came for Roberson, he said that had no impact on him choosing to become a Gator.

"If Duke would have offered me a scholarship I think I would have gone to Florida anyway, because if their style of play," Roberson said. "I could have gone to Duke if I wanted to. If I really wanted to go there I could have, but I felt like Florida was the place for me over any other school. I wasn't just waiting for Duke to offer me or waiting for Florida to offer me, I wanted to go to Florida."

Donovan is also at the ABCD camp watching his future point guard play, something that has not gone unnoticed by Roberson.

"Coach has been at every game I have played so far. That has made me feel good and know that he is happy to have me and looking forward for me to come," Roberson said. "I think we are building a good relationship while I am in high school. By the time I get there, things are going to be just right."

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