Breakdown: Top-10 rising junior Dedric Lawson headed to Memphis
Memphis landed the first committed top-10 prospect in 2016, as Dedric Lawson followed his father and brother. What does Lawson bring to the table?
The biggest story in the recruiting world right now is Memphis hiring Keelon Lawson – the father of three high-major prospects -- as an assistant coach.
Rising senior K.J. Lawson had already committed to the Tigers, but the second domino fell on Sunday morning.
Dedric Lawson told reporters at the Nike Peach Jam that he was committing to Memphis, following his father and brother.
It wasn't a surprise, as Lawson had told CBSSports.com at the LeBron James Skills Academy that Memphis hiring his father would "probably seal the deal" for a commitment to the Tigers. With that said, Lawson is the first top-10 prospect in the class of 2016 to make a college decision -- and Josh Pastner is the biggest beneficiary.
Following Lawson's commitment, he went out and finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and five blocks in the championship game of the Peach Jam, an 85-83 loss to the NJ Playaz.
The file on … Dedric Lawson
- Height: 6-foot-8
- Weight: 195 pounds
- Position: Combo forward
- Ranking: No. 7 in the 247Sports Composite for 2016
- High School: Hamilton (Tenn.)
- AAU: Team Penny (Tenn.)
- Stats: 16.4 points, 10.5 rebounds on EYBL circuit (24 games)
How he fits at Memphis: Lawson is one of the top players in the class of 2016, and he's also the more talented of the two Lawson brothers currently in high school. Offensively, he can hurt defenses in a variety of ways. While he doesn't possess off-the-charts athleticism, Lawson is a matchup problem due to his ability to handle the ball and beat players off the dribble. He can knock down shots from the perimeter or the mid-range, but can also get all the way to the rim and finish. Lawson sometimes forces things offensively, but he's a multifaceted weapon who is still getting better. He is also a terrific rebounder at both ends of the floor, crashing the glass for second chances. Lawson also has the length and agility to be a versatile defender, capable of guarding multiple positions, playing passing lanes or blocking shots. While he's still two years away from playing at Memphis, Lawson should be able to make an immediate impact alongside Nick King -- and Lawson's brother -- in a talented forward corps.
What it means for Memphis' class: It's obviously still very early in the recruiting cycle for Memphis' 2016 class, but getting a top-10 prospect in the fold already is a terrific start. Lawson will be the anchor for Pastner's recruiting efforts. Memphis offered a host of kids the past couple of weeks, including post players Omari Spellman and Sedee Keita, as well as guards Quinton Rose, Randall Broddie and Alterique Gilbert. By the time Lawson gets to campus, Damien Wilson and Shaq Goodwin will be gone, along with a trio of incoming junior college prospects. Plenty can change between now and then, but Pastner has been showing interest in a long list of rising high school juniors. Jaylen Fisher, Abdul Ado and Jermaine Haley are among the players in that group.
Which school loses the most: It's basically been a two-horse race for the past several months, as Lawson even admitted most schools dropped out of the recruitment fairly early in the process. Kentucky stuck around, though, and was in Lawson's final two. It's hard to say John Calipari lost too much, however, as it's still quite early in the class of 2016 recruiting process. Some of the primary targets on Kentucky's wish list in that class include Derryck Thornton, Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Tyus Battle, Thon Maker, Udoka Azubuike and others.
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