Lawson Brothers Coming to KU

  • Per Twitter, Sorry no link ( I am at work, so don’t have time to figure out the link process here), both are transferring from Memphis to KU.

    Good news for the year after next.

  • @Kubie Thanks for linking.

  • Wow. Great news two days in a row for our Jayhawks.

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  • This is from a Memphis poster:

    “In Dedric, KU is getting a great rebounder and scorer at the basket. He’s super long and has a high BB IQ. He’s a very solid passer as a big. He has a developing outside shot, which looks pretty good mechanically though he needs to keep practicing it. He can even function as a primary ball handler for stretches, and is capable of getting his own shot and path to the rim. The main knock on him is his lack of athleticism and quickness, which has kept him out of draft consideration so far. He also needs to get stronger, which a year off should help him do. He’s a double double threat every night, and averaged about 20 and 10 last year. KJ is a complementary player right now with the mindset of a go-to guy. I had high hopes for him coming into Memphis, but he never really developed past the score first mentality. He showed occasional flashes of high output point production (I believe he had one 30 point game last year) but more often than not he’s an average to below average shooter with a less developed IQ than his brother. He’s also pretty damn long and is a pretty solid defender at the 3 or 4 (and a good rebounder at 6’7’’). Edit: I should add, a year of two of good coaching could do KJ a lot of good. He’s definitely got a spark of talent.”

  • These are the players the KU site list for the 2017-2018 season. Notice that Josh Jackson is not listed, This is 12 players not counting the Lawsons. te program is limited to 13 basketball scholarships per year, so KU is 1 over the limit, assuming Svi Comes back.


  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Tucker Vang and Clay Young are walk-ons.

  • @BShark

    Yes they are but I believe they were on full scholarship last season. Like I said, I would think there are legal means of moving them to financial aid packages that would be pretty comparable.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    They don’t count. I have no idea who Self maybe gave a temp scholarship to last year but walk-ons are walk-ons and they will not count against the 13 scholarship limit.

  • Anyone got a read on their personalities?

  • @BShark

    Scholarships are only for one year and walk-ons are given schoolies if they are available. Remember, players like Teahan, and Moody moved from walk-ons to full scholarship, Wesley switched back and forth depending on availability.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    That’s what I was saying more or less. That no doubt Vang or w/e was given a scholarship this year that is a walk-on won’t be on scholly next year now.


    If you want to hear an interview with their dad. I don’t think he will be as bad as Memphis fans made it out to be. Especially since he won’t be involved in the program.

  • @approxinfinity

    On Dedric, he wanted to be a OAD. Much like Newman he had a bad combine and went back to school. He was clearly a much better player this year on a bad team and put up great numbers so it’s surprising he’s transferring instead of testing the draft again. I think that says a lot about him that he wants to get better playing at a premiere program. Working on his shot and body seem like the two main goals for him during his year off. This is like hitting the lottery with this one.

    KJ is not as skilled as Dedric and I think he’s tried really hard to match his brothers reputation. From the games I saw of them both this year they seemed competitive. I don’t see any personality issues on the surface. I hope KJ becomes a more well rounded player which I think KU will help him do.

  • @BeddieKU23

    I wouldn’t hate it if KU kept staying involved with 5 star transfers.

  • This may be a move to get their other brothers and highly touted cousin in future years. Comments (I know, take with a grain of salt) but comments on the CBS story linked above had words like uncoachable, 21 inch vertical, Self inheriting problems, and a few others. Of course, Bill Self can turn Towson St commits in NPOY’s and make us cheer when an Appalachian St. commit returns for his senior year. So I’m pretty darn confident if BS wanted these kids there’s something there worth wanting.

  • @wissox

    Sour grapes. Dedric will fill it up under Self. Yes he isn’t a super athlete but he just gets buckets.

  • @BShark Yea just because he isn’t a freak athlete doesn’t mean he wont ball out in college. He is freaky long. 6’7 with a legit 7’2.5 wingspan. Good passer, good free throw shooter and good rebounder. What’s not to like?

    And his brother is a solid pickup if you ask me. 6’6-6-7 with a 7’ wingspan. I’m sure Self can tap into that length defensively. Not to mention he shot 33% from trey and rebounded extremely well too. One year with Hudy and practice and I expect these two to come in and be great pickups.

    On another note, we could be freakishly long in 2018-2019.

    • PG - Garrett 6’6
    • SG - Vick 6’5
    • SF - Lawson 6’ 7
    • PF - Lawson 6’7
    • C - ?

    And with Cunliffe 6’7 coming off of the bench.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Get Grimes to run the point at 6’4’’. Imagine Doke could be back to play center, at least that’s my hope. If not, Self adds a rim protector type post.

  • WOW!!! They will be HUGE for KU after learning Coach Self’s system and after Hudy gets them in the gym. Not to mention this will improve competition in the gym this summer. Only going to make our guys better if you ask me! We have a better start on next years recruiting than any other team in the country!

  • Edit: Wrong link, working on it…

    Should be the right link now:

    Lawson interview starts about 25 minutes in.

  • @wissox In Self We Trust

  • And there’s a 6’7" brother in the 8th grade?

  • @brooksmd

    Cousin top 10 2019 -

    Brother top 25 2019 -

    Youngest brother 2021 -

    Too early for 2021 rankings yet but Johnathan will be top 20 most likely.

  • Banned

  • The Lawson Brothers …coming to an arena near you. RCJHGKU.


    Another radio spot with their dad. Starts about 30 minutes in. Some interesting tidbits: Dedric liked KU even back in HS, they know Newman and Vick pretty well. The Lawsons have known Vick since the kids were 6 or 7 years old. Bill Self was in Memphis YESTERDAY. Basically no one knew about this and it didn’t leak. Amazing in this day and age… Lawsons know Tarik Black. Dedric called Tarik to ask him about Kansas and Tarik of course was very positive about KU and said he wished he would have played 4 years under Self.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Vang and Young were not on scholarship last season.

    2016-17 scholarship players were:

    1. Frank Mason

    2. Lagerald Vick

    3. Sam Cunliffe/Evan Maxwell

    4. Devonte Graham

    5. Svi Mykhailiuk

    6. Josh Jackson

    7. Malik Newman

    8. Carlton Bragg

    9. Dwight Coleby

    10. Landen Lucas

    11. Udoka Azubuike

    12. Mitch Lightfoot

    Sam Cunliffe and Evan Maxwell essentially shared the same scholarship since Sam came in when Evan left. That left one open scholarship last year which was probably left unused last year since the only walk on senior last year was Tyler Self and he didn’t need the scholarship.

  • I think the potential for signing other family members in the future is a definite plus… but I seriously doubt Bill is willing to take on two recruits that can’t offer something first. The #1 reason to bring in these transfers is to help us now, and Bill sees that potential and thinks it is worth it to lock up two unplayable scholarships next year in order to have a future with these brothers. Sitting a year will make a monster difference in their games, so throw out any current negatives on athleticism, etc. They both have the length in height and reach.

    I do believe there were some attitude issues at Memphis, but that may have easily been caused by the Memphis system, which is in no way near the level of Kansas basketball. The Lawson brothers are going to receive all the love of the Jayhawk family and that makes a monster difference with many players. Look at what both of these brothers are facing; many already like to look past them on to their future family members coming into college basketball. I know I would have a difficult attitude if I wasn’t receiving the respect I deserved. Memphis just isn’t Kansas.

  • @drgnslayr I agree with this one. The Lawson’s are not coming here because of their brothers and cousin. These guys who will likely start as soon as they are eligible or at the very worst, be the first wing and big off the bench. They are not occupying scholarship 12 and 13 once they are eligible in the hopes of their younger relatives coming here. That was the sole purpose I believe of bring Evan Maxwell in last spring/summer was because of the potential of his younger brother. Maxwell was never going to be more than the last big at KU, but at the time, there was speculation that his brother could develop into a top 50 player which never ended up happening. That, along with Evan not being a good player at KU’s level led to him leaving to go elsewhere to finish out his career.

  • Outside of Danny Manning finding eligibility in 2018-19, Dedric Lawson will start and be a favorite for Big-12 POY. Dude has game. We are talking Thomas Robinson his Jr year for the type of production we will get from him.

  • @drgnslayr

    It sounds like a lot of the issues had to do with Pastner’s departure from Memphis. That wasn’t a pretty exit for all involved and that’s the coach that got the Lawson’s to stay home in the first place.

    Then Pastner is replaced with Tubby and the roster was decimated. Tubby Smith is no longer the coach he once was and he doesn’t recruit well. Memphis went from getting Top 100 kids to recruiting Juco’s and unranked kids just to fill the vacancies. Tough for talented kids from Memphis to swallow seeing a really good basketball program year in and year out fall apart, especially one they have grew up with.

    I’m sure the Father being involved didn’t help things especially when he was demoted by Tubby this past year. Seems like a no win situation. It’s likely Pastner hired the Lawson dad to secure the son’s staying in Memphis. You have a coaching change and old school Tubby doesn’t see things the same way baby faced Pastner did. He’s demoted to have a role within the program just so the apple cart isn’t totally turned upside down. These Lawson kids could have left last year but they stuck it out. Now they reach for a better situation, the same fresh start Carlton Bragg is seeking.

    A side-note: Self is playing an important recruiting angle here. Gonzaga just took two high level transfers (Williams-Goss McDonald’s All American out of HS) & (Williams Top-100 recruit of out HS) to the Championship game. Those two guys were intergral parts of that team.

    Self is banking on guys like Malik Newman (Top 10 recruit, Mickey D kid) helping this season and the Lawson brothers (both Top 50 recruits) helping the next year. Reports are that Newman’s year off really helped him, I imagine the same will benefit these two brothers.

  • @drgnslayr @Texas-Hawk-10

    Exactly. The other brothers and cousin if they come here are just a bonus. Dedric fills an immediate need, a post player for the season after next. One that is better than pretty much any post player KU can realistically recruit in the 2018 class. This kid has proven he can fill it up at the D1 level. He’s already fantastic! With a year off in the KU program working with Hudy and surrounded by better talent, watch out.


    Should be a great 4 for Self. Would agree, he should be the Big 12 preseason POY in a year and a half.

    Tubby just doesn’t even want to try to play the game anymore, if he did, he wouldn’t have upset the apple cart with Keelon Lawson.

  • Lots of articles say Tarik Black and Lagerald Vick sold the brothers on KU and HCBS.

  • @mayjay

    His dad on the radio said Dedric called up Tarik to ask about KU/Self.

  • Here is a cool article from 2013 by Gary Parrish talking about the Lawsons. To say he predicted they would be great is almost an understatement:

    Dear America: Meet the Lawson brothers from Memphis -

    Also info on the dad and mom. Dad not a flunky by any means–state HS champ coach before joining Memphis.

  • @mayjay just read that and came here to post it, lol. Its always interesting to see articles written a few years back come to fruition. I am excited for these guys to come to KU!

  • Anyone know if the Lawson Brothers can play this summer in Italy? I have been wondering this since yesterday

  • @BeddieKU23 at first I thought no, but I know red shirt kids can play in exhibition games till regular season games starts. Are these games considered NCAA games?

  • An old scouting report on Dedric Lawson from Draftexpress. Informative.

    After seven years under Josh Pastner, Memphis basketball will transition to a new era this season under the leadership of Tubby Smith, with Pastner departing for Georgia Tech. Last season Memphis failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, but found a bright spot in American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Dedric Lawson. Lawson, a Memphis native who finished off his high school career at Arlington Country Day in Florida, was a consensus top 50 recruit who participated in the McDonalds All American Game and Jordan Brand Classic. After an impressive individual season under Pastner in which he tied the program record for double doubles by a freshman, Lawson received an invitation to the NBA Combine, but ultimately received the feedback he needed from NBA personnel after a poor showing, and opted to return to Memphis for his sophomore year.

    At 6’8, with a wingspan that stretches to 7’2.5” Lawson has the size and length to play either forward position at the pro level, but most likely projects as a stretch-4 given his athletic limitations. He has a solidly built frame, but lacks the real strength or power to use it effectively. After his performance at the NBA Combine this summer it has been a point of emphasis for him this off-season to add strength and lower his body fat, and he is reportedly coming into the season at 236 pounds, 11 pounds up from what he weighed in at the Combine. It will be essential for Lawson that any additional weight comes in the form of muscle.

    He is smooth and fluid, but lacks quickness in a serious way and is predominantly a below the rim player who lacks the explosiveness or burst to be effective athletically in a crowd. It will be interesting to see if improving his body helps maximize his physical tools to be more effective athletically than he currently is.

    What makes Lawson an intriguing pro prospect is the diverse offensive skill set that he has for someone with his size and length. While he is by no means a polished ball handler, he is comfortable handling the ball in stretches, and is more than capable of taking his man off the bounce in isolation situations or pushing the ball in transition. He is not explosive with change of direction, but he plays at his own pace and has a slow, methodical, old school game where he is able to create his own offense off the dribble.

    He is also a gifted passer, particularly from his position and averaged 3.2 assists per 40, but also posted a high turnover rate of 3.9 per 40. The turnover numbers are definitely on the high side, but somewhat to be expected from a freshman forward with a high usage rate as a ball handler. While Lawson has the tools to create his own offense, he was not efficient last season at turning those scoring opportunities into points. He averaged 19.6 points per 40, but only shot 42.2% inside the arc and only finished 46.6% of his shots around the basket. Part of those low numbers can be attributed to Lawson’s lack of explosiveness, but he also had the tendency to force plenty of bad shots in traffic, particularly on runners and floaters, which he finished only 4 of 17 attempts (per Synergy).


    Assist per 40 went up, turnovers down. 3.9 to 2.8

    Per 40 scoring average increased from 19.6 to 22.2. Given that he played 34 minutes a game this is insignificant.

    Shooting % inside the arc increased from 42% to 52%.

    He has a fairly rudimentary back to the basket game, but with his ball handling and footwork is occasionally able to get to impressive mid-range jumpers out of his face up game, which he can hit, but hasn’t yet proven he can convert consistently. Teams played a fair amount of zone against Memphis last season, and Lawson was effective flashing to the middle for quick jumpers or playmaking opportunities. He has soft hands, good touch around the basket, and excellent scoring instincts, but will need to improve the efficiency in which he turns close field goal attempts into points.

    As a freshman, Lawson definitely showed some potential as a stretch four who can knock down shots from behind the arc. His release his on the slower side, but when he is given time and space, he is more than capable of converting perimeter scoring opportunities. He shot 35% on 3.0 attempts per 40 last season and had eight games where he knocked down at least two shots from deep. He has solid mechanics and proved to be consistent from the 17’ range, but will need to stretch that consistency to beyond the 3-point line. It will be essential for Lawson to become a steady perimeter scoring threat so that he can stretch defenses and use his ball handling ability to attack hard close out situations.

    Per 40, 3 point % went down from 35% to 27%. Sounds like a year off will help him tune in his shot.

    Defensively, Lawson is a bit of a mixed bag, and while he has the length to be a factor, he struggles in one on one situations and needs to improve how he defends ball screens. He is regularly beaten off the dribble or caught out of a stance, issues that can be improved with more consistent effort. His lack of strength hampers him in the post, and his added bulk should be able to help his ability to defend bigger players around the basket. He was able to average 2.1 blocks per 40, an impressive number which is a product of his length and timing as a rim protector. Lawson’s defense may be effected by the offensive load he is asked to carry, but NBA scouts will definitely be looking to see whether he improves on that end of the floor, as there’s likely no path for him to play at that level without significant refinement.

    Blocks per 40 increased from 2.1 to 2.5. For reference Dedric had 68 blocks this season which is slightly less then Landen Lucas and Josh Jackson had combined. His length and instincts will make him a good rim protector at the 4 spot.

    Perhaps Lawson’s most NBA ready skill is as a rebounder on both end. He has excellent instincts tracking down balls outside of his area and uses his length well to go up and get difficult rebounds. He had 19 games last season in which he totaled double digit rebounds, and was able to find a good deal of quick scoring opportunities on the offensive boards. His rebounding numbers are particularly impressive given his lack of elite strength or athleticism. Having just turned 19 years old in October, and thus one of the youngest players in his class, Dedric Lawson has plenty of room for growth as he looks to build on what was a very strong statistical freshman season. Lawson has a unique skill set, and there are not too many guys his age and size who have the scoring instincts and guard skills that he does. He’ll need to improve his athleticism and play with more efficiency on both ends of the floor, but it seems that Lawson has the tools and skill set to be in the conversation in a future NBA Draft.

    Dedric had 20 double double’s this past season, just 1 more then his freshman year. About as consistent as you can expect out of any player.

    We are extremely lucky to have landed these two brothers

  • @BeddieKU23 Should be able to. And the exhibitions.

  • @Kcmatt7 I don’t recall any red shirts playing in the exhibition games before. (I’m not saying it can’t be done.) I doubt we get to see them in Kansas until '18, but the Italy trip should be a nice opportunity to see them play in crimson and blue.

  • @dylans Oh you are right about the scrimmages… I just looked up the rules. Now I have no idea.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Yeah 2.5 blocks a game is damned good. Only surpassed recently at KU by the likes of Cole and Withey who both had seasons over 3. Obviously not the same kind of player but that really puts it in perspective imo. Embiid was offering up a similar number (2.6) in his partial year here but of course Embiid’s presence also altered many more shots (like Cole and Withey) so the overall impact won’t be the same, but it’s clear that he can have defensive value.

    His advanced stats from last year are pretty similar to Josh. A little better in some areas but a worse 3 pt shooter. Similar usage rates too, so you know he can get it done as “the guy”. And yes Josh had a higher usage rate than Mason, which I found interesting.

    His total numbers look like a mild improvement from his FR to SO year, but the advanced numbers were a huge gain, especially on offense. He went from 99 ORTG to 113 and from 0.6 to 4.5 OBPM. PER jumped from 19 to 27. Very impressive stuff that shows he has a pretty good feel for the game. Given the year off to work in KU’s system, he should have a hell of a year for KU.

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