KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 08: Kansas Jayhawks forward Dedric Lawson (1) looks to pass while New Mexico State Aggies forward Ivan Aurrecoechea (15) applies the pressure in the second half of an NCAA basketball game between the New Mexico State Aggies and Kansas Jayhawks on December 8, 2018 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Dedric Lawson Finding His Place at Kansas

For the second straight season, the Kansas Jayhawks have been bolstered by a big-time transfer. Last year it was Malik Newman, who, after an uneven start, was the team’s best player in the postseason. Dedric Lawson is their big-time transfer this season, and he isn’t waiting until the tournament to take over this team. The transfer from Memphis has been immense through the first nine games of the season. Kansas is undefeated and ranked number one in the country. As the calendar turns to 2019, the Jayhawks will look to continue their Big 12 dominance as they search for their 15th straight league title.

In the past few seasons, Bill Self’s program has been led by dynamic guard play from the likes of Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham. This year they are dominant in the front-court. They have the do it all Dedric Lawson and the overpowering Udoka Azubuike controlling the paint. The Jayhawks are young on the perimeter. This makes the leadership and production from their big men even more important.

Dedric Lawson – Finding His Place in Lawrence

Dedric Lawson is extremely versatile, capable of controlling a game with his scoring or his passing ability. Through Kansas’ 9-0 start, the junior forward is averaging 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. He has scored more than 20 points in all but two games this season. Lawson has also shown he is not just a scoring threat. He can also dominate on the glass and has six double-doubles through nine games as a Jayhawk. The 6’8” forward had 28 points and 12 rebounds in a victory over defending national champion Villanova over the weekend. Conference play has yet to begin, but Lawson has already put himself in position for National Player of the Year recognition.

Lawson is best when he gets the ball in the high post. He has a solid mid-range jumper, combined with his vision and passing ability. It makes him hard to defend when he is equally adept at driving past a big defender as he is finding open teammates for easy buckets. The high-low game between Lawson and Azubuike will terrorize Big 12 opponents this season. He can also score in the low post, where he has a variety of moves at his disposal. His versatility makes him difficult to cover one on one, but if teams double him, he has the ability to find teammates. That could lead to lots of uncontested dunks for Azubuike or open shots for Lagerald Vick, leaving opponents in a pick your poison type situation.

First Stop

Dedric Lawson started his career with the Memphis Tigers. He played two seasons there before deciding to move on to the Jayhawks. His brother K.J. Lawson played with him for the Tigers before they both transferred to Lawrence. K.J. has not gotten off to the same hot start as his sibling. He is averaging under ten minutes of playing time a night. Dedric Lawson averaged 17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in two seasons at Memphis. After back to back 19 win seasons and no NCAA tournament berths, the brothers look west to Kansas to further their college careers. Now they will have a chance to continue the Jayhawks’ dominance in the Big 12. The hope is they will also have the potential to fight for a national title.

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