Dedric is the No. 11 prospect in the Class of 2016. His brother is the No. 54 prospect in the Class of 2015 already. The brothers’ father, Keelon, was hired this summer by Josh Pastner as an assistant coach.
Making things all the more interesting is that Memphis has a real chance of landing a commitment from Skal Labissiere, the No. 4 prospect in the Class of 2015. That would give the Tigers one of the best classes in the country, right up there with Louisville and Arizona.
Both of the Lawson brothers — they aren’t twins — are similar players. Long, athletic and versatile forwards that either play the three or the four.
Over the course of July’s live recruiting period, we at College Basketball Talk will be posting anonymous quotes from coaches about the prospects that they are watching and recruiting. With coverage from the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam and the UA Finals, the second open period of the month has provided coaches more opportunities to see their recruiting targets in competitive settings.
Here’s what the coaches had to say, with quotes cobbled together from a handful of conversations we had:
WF Keelon Lawson, No. 57 Class of 2015, and WF Dedric Lawson, No. 8 Class of 2016: “Today was my first time seeing those guys play. I can see why Josh [Pastner] hired their Dad to be an assistant coach. Those guys are good.”
C Stephen Zimmerman, No. 7 Class of 2015: “I see him dropping in some national rankings, but I would still take him for my team in a heartbeat. You can’t teach of some of the high-IQ plays that he brings to the table.”
CG Antonio Blakeney, No. 16 Class of 2015: “Blakeney really shoots it. He’s a pure scorer that can hit tough shots because he’s got a high release thanks to his elevation. He’s streaky, but he’s a stud.”
PF Deyonta Davis, No. 24 Class of 2015: “He’s almost always the most talented dude out there, but he disappears too much. Get in the weight room, improve his assertiveness. [Tom] Izzo will help that. Remember, he’s still new to the game.”
PF Cheick Diallo, No. 5 Class of 2015: “That guy goes hard. What a competitor. And people don’t seem to mention his skill level, but he’s a pretty good passer and has improved his post game since last summer.”
SG Malik Monk, No. 6 Class of 2016: “Have you seen some of the performances this guy has had? Remarkable scorer. Once he gets another summer and season in the weight room, he might be completely unguardable.”
Five-star 2016 forward Dedric Lawson commits to Memphis
Memphis picked up a major commitment on Sunday when five-star Class of 2016 forward Dedric Lawson pledged to head coach Josh Pastner.
Lawson confirmed the commitment to NBCSports.com following a semifinal victory from his Team Penny grassroots team at Peach Jam.
Lawson’s father Keelon, was named an assistant coach on Josh Pastner’s staff on Wednesday. In October, Dedric’s older brother, K.J. — the oldest of the four brothers — committed to Memphis, as well.
“It’s going to be a blessing,” Lawson said to NBCSports.com. “Just to be able to [be with family] on a high collegiate level. We’ve been doing it my whole life, so it will be nothing new. It’s just a blessing for us to be able to do it one more time.”
Regarded as the No. 8 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-8 Lawson is a major grab for Memphis. Dedric confirmed that his father becoming an assistant coach helped him make his decision.
“What really pushed the issue was my Dad getting the coaching job,” Lawson said. “With him being on staff, there’s no other college I would rather go to.”
Playing in his hometown of Memphis is also a very appealing prospect to Lawson.
“The best thing about Memphis, it’s a great environment,” Lawson said. ” Coach Pastner, he’s a great guy. It’s a great feeling playing in front of your home crowd. It’s just nothing but love in Memphis.”