Tarleton basketball signs Russian player
Tarleton head coach Billy Gillispie announced the signing of former Freed-Hardeman all-conference forward Konstantin Dotsenko to join Tarleton Men's Basketball next season.
Dotsenko, a 6-foot-7 forward from Vorkuta, Russia, will join the Texans after spending his freshman season at FMU in Henderson, Tennessee.
"Playing Division I basketball was my dream since the very first day I arrived in the United States," said Dotsenko. "After ending up in NAIA, I never stopped working hard and I knew I would have a chance to prove myself and play at the highest level.
“Being able to play for Tarleton and for such a great coach as Coach Gillispie is the most exciting thing that's happened with me in my career. I'm ready to accept a new challenge and to play on the biggest stage in college basketball."
While at Freed-Hardeman, Dotsenko made an immediate impact as one of the top freshmen in NAIA while leading the Lions to an 18-10 overall record and 15-8 conference record. Dotsenko played in 26 games with 25 starts and averaged 18.3 points — which ranked second in the American Midwest Conference — and also posted 5.2 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Dotsenko scored 20 or more points nine times as a freshman, including a career-high 31-point performance.
Dotsenko was one of the most efficient scorers from all over the court in the country, shooting 54 percent from the floor and 43 percent on 3-pointers. Dotsenko made 98 3-pointers on the season and averaged 3.8 made 3's per game, which ranked fourth in the nation among all NAIA and NCAA levels.
Dotsenko had nine games with at least five 3-pointers made in a game with his career high being six 3's, which he did three times. His breakout freshman season led to Dotsenko earning AMC Freshman of the Year and first team all-conference honors.
"It's another great day for Tarleton Basketball," said Gillispie. "We are extremely grateful to be able to have a player of Konstantin's magnitude join us as we make our way in to Division I basketball. Konstantin is a fantastic shooter who is tall, athletic, versatile and determined to be great. He has an offensive arsenal that is already at a very high level.
“You don't see the kind of success he's already had at the collegiate level as a freshman unless you are special. We can't wait to be around him daily and watch him continue to evolve. He's as good as a student and person as he is as a player. KD will be a fan favorite for all the Texan fans to see."
At just 15 years old, Dotsenko won his first Russian national championship while playing for CSKA Moscow. Dotsenko was a four-time national champion while in Russia and was a member of the U16 Russian national team. Dotsenko brought his talents to the United States to play his senior year at Potters House Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida before starting collegiately at FMU.