Star Memphis freshman Dedric Lawson will remove his name from NBA draft consideration and return to the Tigers, L.Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.
The return of their leading scorer puts an end to some of the uncertainty surrounding the program that is looking for a new head coach after Josh Pastner left for Georgia Tech after seven years leading Memphis.
Lawson averaged 15.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks per game last season for the Tigers. He announced a month ago that he planned to go through the NBA evaluation process, but without an agent, which allows him to return to school under new NCAA legislation.
While the Tigers could still be in line for some upheaval as the coaching search continues, but whoever inherits the team will have a great building block in Lawson, as well as presumably his brother, K.J., who was a top-100 recruit that missed much of last year due to an injury. It’s a short-term boost for Memphis during a period of big-picture thinking, but a significant one to be sure.