The list of active college basketball players who will play in the London Olympics is a small one, and that’s been the case since professionals were first allowed to play back in 1992.
One of the few to get his chance to play later this month is College of Charleston senior point guard Andrew Lawrence, who is playing for his native (and hosts) Great Britain.
Lawrence will be key figure for the Cougars, who will play their first season under new head coach Doug Wojcik this winter.
And the experience of playing against so many established professionals while also representing Great Britain is something that should serve both Lawrence and the Cougars well in 2012-13.
“We may not even recognize him when he comes back here,” said Wojcik. “I think he will improve that much. Just playing against those pros around the world will just be invaluable to him.”
As a junior Lawrence averaged 13.0 points and 5.5 assists per game for Charleston, helping to lead the Cougars to a 19-12 mark and a third-place finish in the South Division of the Southern Conference.
In Great Britain’s 118-78 exhibition loss to the United States on Thursday, Lawrence accounted for six points and three rebounds.
Adjehi Baru and Trent Wiedeman both return but in addition to Wojcik’s arrival there’s also the graduation of Antwaine Wiggins to account for.
If Lawrence can use this summer as a springboard into 2012-13, the Cougars may likely be the biggest threat to reigning SoCon champion Davidson.