Monday, April 8, 2019

KU junior Dedric Lawson declares for the NBA Draft

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) drives to the basket past Tennessee forward Grant Williams (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) drives to the basket past Tennessee forward Grant Williams (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


The list of available scholarships for Bill Self and the Kansas men’s basketball program grew to three on Monday morning, when KU junior Dedric Lawson officially announced his intention to declare for the NBA Draft.

Lawson, a junior from Memphis who averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds while recording 22 double-doubles during his lone season with the Jayhawks, announced the move on Twitter, saying he had “big news” and following that up with the following statement.

“First, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the talent and opportunities to play the game I love,” he began. “I would also like to thank Coach Self, KU Coaching Staff, Academic Advisors, and the best fans in the country from the University of Kansas for allowing me to recreate myself and display my talents. After prayer and discussion with my family, I will pursue my life’s dream by declaring for the NBA draft. I will begin my preparation for the NBA immediately. RockChalk JayHawk for Life!!”

Added Self in a statement released Monday afternoon: "Dedric had such a great year. There are not very many players who have played at Kansas, or players that I have coached, that average 19 points and 10-plus rebounds in a season. I feel like it is in his best interest to use this year as a springboard into his professional future. He could not have represented our program, the university or his family any better than how he did. All Jayhawk fans should be excited for him."

A source close to the Lawson family told the Journal-World that Lawson’s intention is to hire an agent, which increases the likelihood that moving on from KU is his final decision.

The door for a potential return to KU could remain open in a couple of different ways, but it is not clear whether those paths are a part of Lawson’s plan.

The first kicks in if he requests and receives and evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. Such a move would allow him to work with an agent — who must be certified by the NBA Players Association — through the pre-draft process and still return to school provided he pulls his name out of the draft pool by the May 29 deadline.

The second allows Lawson to retain his representation all the way through the draft but would require two things following the June 20 draft. First, Lawson would have to go undrafted. Second, if he does not get picked and wants to return to Kansas, he then would have to sever all ties with his agent before returning to Kansas.

Both paths seem unlikely for the 6-foot-9 forward who has been showing up on various mock draft boards as a solid second-round selection.

Monday's news, and what Lawson hopes will come of it, hardly came as a surprise to Self.

"Dedric informed me shortly after the season of his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft," Self said in the statement. "He had a chance to go home and visit with family about this and we totally support his decision and wish him nothing but the best moving forward."

Lawson’s news brings KU’s uncertainty down to three players — junior center Udoka Azubuike, sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa and freshman guard Quentin Grimes.

Azubuike and Grimes are both considered potential early-entry candidates. When asked recently by the Journal-World about the status of his players with decisions to make, Self said he would encourage all of his players interested in testing their NBA draft stock to do so.

“I do believe we’re in a situation where some guys are going to test, without question,” Self told the Journal-World. “And that wouldn’t surprise me nor would that disappoint me at all. I think that’s something that should be looked into and certain guys should consider.”

As for De Sousa, he and his representation remain engaged in an appeal of his 2-year suspension by the NCAA, the results of which likely will play a big role in determining De Sousa’s immediate future.

If the appeal is denied or the process drags on, De Sousa, too, could wind up a candidate for early-entry testing. If De Sousa wins the appeal, many close to the program expect him to return to KU for his junior season.

As for gauging his level of surprise that as many as six players from the 2018-19 roster could depart this offseason — Charlie Moore and K.J. Lawson announced last week their intentions to transfer — Self said he and his staff were moving forward with the assumption that all of the players interested in testing the NBA waters would be gone.

“Nothing would surprise me,” he said. “You never know what these kids are thinking.”

Azubuike, Grimes and potentially De Sousa have until April 21 to declare their intentions to enter the 2019 NBA Draft. Provided they meet the deadlines and follow the guidelines for retaining their college eligibility from there, all three would have until May 29 to pull their name out of the draft and return to Kansas.


Rae Bricil 2 years, 2 months ago

Congratulations and best of luck. He had a great year here from a statistics standpoint. Personally, i don't see his game translating to the NBA game at all. Trying to think of the last player his height and position that never seemed to dunk or play anywhere near the rim.

I know he has "old man's game" but where does this fit into the NBA? You have players taller, more athletic, better shooters playing his position. I think he will have a long fruitful career in pro hoops just see it being in Europe or OUS.

Curious where others see him fitting long term.

Drew Doerfler 2 years, 2 months ago

i'll have to admit that i'm starting to get pessimistic about next years team. It's looking like dedric, azibuike, grimes, kj, moore are all gone. And getting DeSousa's sentence down one year is highly unlikely. so for bigs, we have Mccormack and Lightfood who is really more of tweener between small forward and power forward. the last 8 predictions for Hurt on 247 have him going to Duke. and we aren't leading for any other prospects. The 2 that we do have signed are both over 100 and in the 200's for 247. So we will have 1 player with at least 1 year experience coming back in Dotson. One guard that played half a season, one big that played very sparingly, Garret with two years but really has no offensive ability at all shooting wise, and lightfoot no bigs are even on the team that have been getting better for a couple of years to contribute their junior or senior years. and no bigs currently signed. Ever since Manning left, Self's player development and finding talent for bigs has been pretty bad. Bragg, Diallo, Alexander, Preston...etc. He has been unable to have any depth whatsoever in the frontcourt, literally none. and it's not looking any better now. Even if we get Hurt, or Precious, he doesn't have any long term bigs signed that will learn and get better. And we don't have any shooters. I love Self, but I have to admit that i'm not as enamored with him as i have been in the past. The game has changed, and he really hasn't. and i'm sorry, but Grimes was a complete waste of a scholarship for a year if he leaves. Nice kid, but personally, i thought he was well below average in most aspects of the game. We could have gotten someone who was gong to stay for 4 years and get better and actually contribute to KU. Or let KJ get some actual playing time and then maybe he would have stayed. Now we will probably lose both and there goes the wait til next year when he actually can help the team with grimes perspective.

Dennis Strick 2 years, 2 months ago

Funny, last week many folks thought I was nuts. Well they thought I was nuts last August when I said that Les Miles would be our new Head Football Coach.

Jay Scott 2 years, 2 months ago

Don't confuse comments you make with valid evaluation people offer of your sanity.

Brian Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

Once again Jay Sqwak opens his beak and spouts off about someone elses opinion only because he has no of his own.

Dennis, Spot on!

Drew is also correct. For a coach that used to preach twin towers KU has been understocked primarily due to injuries, ncaa penalties, etc.....some of which could be vetted and avoided if we would stay away from having too many of those types of situations.

Jay Scott 2 years, 2 months ago to explain how the coaches could avoid injuries by better vetting players?

That would be truly most of your comments...

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 2 years, 2 months ago

It's crazy in my eyes to be upset at or blame Bill Self for this season's roster volatility. We were the preseason #1 team coming off a Final Four in which we lost our three best players to the draft or graduation. That's amazing!

As we all know, there was a lot of "stuff" that happened in between then and now that that hurt our chances for another conference championship and a deep run in this year's tournament. The uncertainty with the NCAA is a big reason for the lack of recruiting success so far (you can blame that on HCBS if you want - I don't have enough information to formulate an opinion yet). Plus, all of these rules changes the NCAA has implemented are encouraging more players than ever to "test the waters". I hope the NBA revokes the one year out of high school rule and allows them an option of declaring straight out of high school or make them wait two years.

Jeremy LeMaster 2 years, 2 months ago


Question regarding Silvio. I may have missed this explanation in other posts and so I apologize if it has been discussed. What will Silvio's eligibility look like when he is cleared?

If/when he gets cleared for 2019-20 would it be his Sophomore season? Junior season if he does not get his penalty reduced (playing in 2020-21)? Or would it be Junior and Senior season respectively?

Do the regular rules apply where you have 5 years to play 4 once your clock starts with the exception for a medical redshirt if those conditions apply (which they do not for Silvio obviously... perhaps for Dok)?

Andy Godwin 2 years, 2 months ago

If he is actually cleared for the 2019-2020 season (and KU is working hard to get the sentenced reduced), then it would be DeSousa's junior year. Can't imagine him hanging around until 2020-2021 (senior year). As far as I understand, a suspension does not equate to an injury (red shirt).

Jeremy LeMaster 2 years, 2 months ago

Right, I didn't mean to cause confusion with the injury/medical redshirt thing.

I guess what I am looking for is if the suspension causes him to lose a year of eligibility that precludes him from using the standard redshirt year for one of them. Not many other scenarios to compare it to obviously.


Matt Tait 2 years, 2 months ago

Andy's correct. If Silvio wins his appeal, next year will be his junior season. If he doesn't win it and elects to stay in college, he would then just have one year of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2020-21 season.

Corey Sparks 2 years, 2 months ago

Yeah next year is looking like it could be worse than this year. I expect Azubuike to leave.

Looks like our only hope is Dotson having a Mason/Graham type year, and while he's got the potential, he's only a sophomore.

Best of luck to Lawson in the NBA.

Corey Sparks 2 years, 2 months ago

Jeremy I would imagine he'd be a junior. In the eyes of the NCAA he cheated and was punished. Allowing him to still be classed as a sophomore, would kind of negate the punishment. However, that's just my logic, we all know the NCAA goes by its own rules.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 2 months ago

Dedric will get drafted, I'm pretty sure, and I'm thinking he's got a good career ahead of him, even if not as a starter, he will do well.

As for everyone else, well, I'll say this, I'd like to see more 3-4 year players on the team, but in this day and age, I don't see how you can't recruit OADs either. You just have to hope they pan out during the year.

He's made it to 3 F4s and one NCAA title. I'd have thought we should have gotten a second under him, like 2011 or 2017. At least someone new is going to win it this year.

Andy Godwin 2 years, 2 months ago

I will again reiterate, it is not very common for the athletic department to offer a two-year price guarantee regarding men's basketball tickets to WEF members (we received a three-year offer for football while rebuilding yet again). I think Jeff Long is aware that the 2019-2020 season might be atypical and a bit bumpy.

Dennis Strick 2 years, 2 months ago

Then there were 5 left to practice and play.... Dotson, Garrett, Lightfoot, McCormack, Teahan (being generous here). If you think that "Q" or Dok are staying behind instead of getting NBA G League/Other Pro Level paychecks you are crazy. We may never know the reason for all of the defections but there was a reason. Listen to Coach Self's parting words..."You never know what these kids are thinking". He used to know exactly what they were thinking. Not his fault. Probably some combination of no upper classmen leadership, One&Done Derangement Syndrome, and no team chemistry. Sooner the deck is cleared the sooner he can go back to building a team the way he used to do it. Coach, once "Q" and Dok declare please do not let them back in the door like you did Vick. That was the biggest coaching mistake you have made at KU.

Jay Scott 2 years, 2 months ago

What do you offer to substantiate the notion that Grimes is leaving?

Of all people, you should be last last to impugn the sanity of others..

Steve Zimmerman 2 years, 2 months ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dedric! You've been instrumental carrying our team this season. You were also one reason Jayhawk basketball was entertaining and still fun to watch. We were hoping you'd stick around, but whatever you've decided, we will support it. Best of luck in the process. And the door is always open for you, if you decide the other way. Rock Chalk!!! The future of KUMBB still looks so blur.

Robert Brock 2 years, 2 months ago

Self may need to replace one or two of his assistants with coaches who can recruit.

Jay Scott 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe he needs to hire whoever recruited Svi, Wiggins, Selden, Embiid, Oubre, Diallo, Jackson, Azubuike, Dotson, Grimes, McCormack, DeSousa, etc etc...

Titus Canby 2 years, 2 months ago

Doesn't this give us 4 scholarships to fill instead of 3? Dedric Lawson, KJ Lawson, Charlie Moore, and Lagerald Vick?

Jeremy LeMaster 2 years, 2 months ago

I believe.... There was 1 unused, and then LaGerald graduated. Those go to Mackey and Braun coming in. Then coach said we can basically sign whatever leaves at that point when the season came to a close. So far, three additional players have left (Lawson x 2 and Charlie). So we can now sign 3 additional players at this point.

Matt Tait 2 years, 2 months ago


Only 12 scholarships were taken this season and Vick's departure brought that number down to 11. With the 2 players signed in the 2019 class already, that brings it back to 13 and full. So at this point every player that leaves opens up a scholarship.

With Moore, K.J. and Dedric on their way out, that means KU has 3 scholarships to give to 2019 players.

Glen Miller 2 years, 2 months ago

I think before you start jumping ship, maybe you should see what our roster shapes up like first. And as far as those crystal ball deals on recruits...... Robinson-Earl was almost assuredly coming to KU, until he didn't. Wiggins had no shot of choosing us, but he did...... those things aren't always right. With our two guards coming in we already have a better option as a backup point guard and some shooting. I'm certain we will add some frontcourt and the guys we have coming back should be better. If you look back to where we were at this time last year, everyone was talking about how great we were going to be and we weren't. Injuries aside, this team still had no leadership or experience. Dotson, Ogbaji, and McCormack will be even better next season and we should be a better shooting team. We will land at least one top 100 recruit, I would bank on that and Self will fill in as needed. The National Championship hasn't even been played yet. A bit early for the sky to be falling in my estimation.

Ken Stclair 2 years, 2 months ago

Glen Miller this is well said-spot on. Thank you!

Drew Doerfler 2 years, 2 months ago

actually, the crystal ball about 2 weeks before Robinson-Earl decided all went towards Villanova from Kansas....kind of like where Hurt is now. Are they always correct? no....but are they usually right and know a whole lot more than we do? yes........and when like 8 experts in a row either change from KU to duke or just go to Duke, it's not good.....and we don't even have 1 expert saying the Precious will choose can we stlll sign one of them? yes we can.....but the odds are currently against it....and there are only like 5 unsigned top 100 recruits left at this point and we will probably have 6 openings ..... so no, i don't think it looks really promising for us right now.....hopefully we get Hurt, Precious, and the California guard because we will really need them....but don't hold your breath.....and why do you think we will be a betters shooting team next year? Dotson can shoot when he has time to set up, but i don't think he is a pure shooter, quick release guy.....Garrett can't hit the broad side of the barn and he will be getting a lot of playing time next year.......Achai might be a bright spot or not, he hasn't proven himself to be a consistent shooter. and then you have 2 sub 100 recruits which might be good down the road, but in all fairness, they don't usually produce too much their first years. but i really hope that i'm wrong and we get all those guys and start shooting a lot better....i'm just saying the odds are against either one of those things happening right now

Glen Miller 2 years, 2 months ago

Both Braun and McBride can shoot the rock pretty good. Dotson and Ogbaji will hopefully get a little more consistent. If Grimes stays, I am hoping for a much improved season with that big jump from Freshman to Sophomore we sometimes see. Still a chance to bring in another shooter as well. That's why I said shooting should be improved.

Drew Doerfler 2 years, 2 months ago

i'll go with you on should be improved...there really isn't anywhere to go but up from a shooting standpoint fromt his i'm just feeling pessimistic right now because there is a good chance we have another 6 spots to fill on our roster and almost the entire top 100 recruits have already chosen their schools.....just signing 6 players and signing the right 6 players are two different things and i don't think the 'right' 6 players are even still available right now....maybe 2 at the most

Glen Miller 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm definitely feeling a little less "pumped" about next season than normal...... We're losing a lot of roster and recruiting has gone cold on us here as of late. I'm with you, the pieces we've been bringing in the last couple years haven't fit well together. This recruiting class will be very important and unfortunately all the players we need to hit on are leaning towards other schools. Are our players jumping ship because of looming sanctions? I'm worried for sure.

Ken Stclair 2 years, 2 months ago

Funny-so many are now saying that next year will be bad ......But probably same people were telling us how great this year's team was going to be! Reality is that nobody knows anything. Just be patient and see what happens. There are ALWAYS too many variables to make accurate predictions in life.

Pius Waldman 2 years, 2 months ago

Please share why De Sousa is not being granted a hearing for his punishment. The KU AD needs to force this hearing. Then the decision will help him deciding what to do. Hard to accept De Sousa staying and not getting to play.

Corey Sparks 2 years, 2 months ago

Ken keyword, "LOOKING." Of course we can't predict the future but we can state our thoughts and/or opinions based on the current situation and details we know.

As of now it doesn't look good. Obviously things can change.

Brian Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

This summer will be interesting...

Guards: Isaac McBride and Christian Braun have already signed.

Guards: Harlond Beverly and Cassius Stanley have not yet declared. But, some already say Stanley is not coming to KU.

Also not declared: SF: Mathew Hurt, Precious Achiuwa, Tristan Enaruna.

Currently from what I can tell KU is not recruiting any PF's or Centers. However, much like DOK there maybe a player from the 2020 targets that could qualify early. Not to mention there are a couple of transfers with immediate eligibility that could fill in nicely.

Also, KU has being doing some traveling the past few years and it wouldn't surprise me if a European player not on any ranking list could pop up much like Svi!

Drew Doerfler 2 years, 2 months ago

people keep saying graduate transfer for big men......but that is a very short term fix. we need bigs ranked between 20 and like 100 that will stay 3 to 4 years and improve.......after next year we have Mccormack....that is all......Self really needs to sign a pf prospect that will be here in a couple years ready to step in after learning and maturing....but unfortunately there are not many left........we have been ridiculously thin in the frontcourt for way too long and this years recruiting class definitely isn't helping

Jay Scott 2 years, 2 months ago

A grad transfer is short term. Sometimes a short term fix is required.

".we have been ridiculously thin in the frontcourt for way too long"

Was KU thin last summer when Dok, Mac, Silvio, Mitch, Dedric and KJ were available?

Drew Doerfler 2 years, 2 months ago

kj was never utilized as a big and didn't want you don't think the staff knew anything about the Silvio's recruitment, you are in severe denial. i love mitch, but he is just too small for a forward to be effective.....he can block a couple of shots, but he can't rebound, play defense, or score. so yes, i would consider that thin in the frontcourt, but look at previous years and it has been alot only having Landon Lucas.......and what are we going to have next year? or the next year? we have mccormack as a freshman to progress and get better and then no statement was mainly about next year when we really need a big signed that would be around for a 3 or 4 years....and i've read your other comments fora would be appreciated if you would put the passive aggressive political jabs and comments in the fox news commentaries...we don't need them in KU sports discussions...thanks

Jay Scott 2 years, 2 months ago

If your statement was "mainly about next year", why did you use the term "way too long"?

You're arguing with yourself. I predict a tie.

Was Perry Ellis too small? Mitch is the same size with bigger hops....and 50% more rebounds per minute...

Thanks for telling me what to post. If at some point you add something intelligent, I'll still ignore such childish nonsense.

Drew Doerfler 2 years, 2 months ago

so you can't add one sentence at the end of a comment without changing the overall meaning? lol god, you are an idiot.....and i'm done with this back and forth, life is too short and you are definitely not worth the time.......and as to telling you what to say, you can say whatever you want, but most of us i'm guessing are completely overwhelmed with all the political animosity on both sides and want a little respite from it on a sports site.....i don't care which side you are on, this isn't the appropriate place for it

Jay Scott 2 years, 2 months ago

You can add or subtract whatever you want. If you'd like to make sense and be taken seriously, words mean things. Those are other matters that it would appear you don't strive for.

Bj Cassady 2 years, 2 months ago

We will make it back to the NCAA next year but I don't see us anywhere near the top of the Big12. We lack depth, bigs, backcourt, shooters. We need to look at the way the game is changing, 3pt shooting. Put up 30 a game with great 3pt shooters a la Villanova in their day, Auburn and others.

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