LAS VEGAS – Given that he's a Memphis native and his older brother committed to Memphis, many coaches and basketball people assumed Dedric Lawson was going to commit to the Tigers at some point.
As a result, most schools backed off the five-star 2016 small forward.
According to Lawson, that was a mistake.
“All the schools kind of cut themselves short, because Memphis was one of my top schools, but I wasn't all the way in towards Memphis,” Lawson said at the LeBron James Skills Academy on Thursday. “Kentucky stayed hard on me, so it's like Kentucky and Memphis that have been recruiting me the hardest.”
John Calipari vs. his old school. Lawson's hometown school vs. college basketball's biggest program.
Lawson broke down the argument for each school.
Memphis: “A great city, a great environment with being at home. Your family can come watch you play. Coach [Josh] Pastner is a great coach, the coaching staff is great. I know some of the players, some are from Memphis, played high school ball, I played against them.”
Kentucky: “Cal and the one-and-done system. Everybody wants to be one-and-done. Cal, I've known him since he was at Memphis, me and him have been talking ever since. Me and his son, have a real good connection. It's just been real love between the both of them.”
But then there's the elephant in the room, the potential tiebreaker between the two.
For the past couple of months, there have been rumors that Pastner is poised to hire Keelon Lawson as an assistant coach. Lawson is the father of Dedric, 2015 Memphis-commit K.J. Lawson and elite 2019 prospect Chandler Lawson.
Dedric Lawson admits it's not a done deal yet, but Pastner hiring his father would sway him in the direction of the Tigers.
“That would probably seal the deal for me, to commit to Memphis,” he said.
Lawson is ranked No. 8 in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2016.