Kansas Basketball Record Watch 2018-19: Dedric Lawson
A couple of months ago, when KU junior Udoka Azubuike announced he would return for his junior season at Kansas instead of trying to make it in the NBA, the first thing that popped into my head was where Azubuike stood in KU’s record books in a few key areas.
Granted, because he missed all but 11 games of his freshman season and also missed time during his sophomore season, Azubuike has not exactly played the kind of games or logged the amount of minutes to make a real push for any of KU’s biggest records.
But surely there are some that, after a monster junior season, could be a factor for Azubuike, right?
And if that’s the case, couldn’t that be true for just about every scholarship player on KU’s roster?
I mean, we all can agree that Quentin Grimes isn’t going to finish his first year at Kansas — and possibly his only year here — as the school’s all-time leading scorer, but could he make a push for KU’s freshman scoring record?
Last year’s KU media guide featured 19 full pages of school records. So over the next several days, we’re going to take a look at (a) what records some of these guys might be closing in on, if any, and (b) which record(s) each KU player could realistically make a run at during the 2018-19 season.
Some of it might be a stretch. But, hey, it’s August, and even if some of what you’ll read in the next few days isn’t likely, it’s still kind of fun to think about the best case scenarios in a sort of what-if mentality.
Next up: Dedric Lawson
The hopes and expectations are high for the Memphis transfer who many believe could be KU’s best player and leading scorer during the 2018-19 campaign.
And why wouldn’t they be?
With Lawson’s good size, natural scoring ability, skills near the basket and on the perimeter and terrific vision and feel on the offensive end, the possibilities for his season and contributions are endless.
After averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds during his second season at Memphis before transferring to KU, Lawson proved that he can put up big numbers at the Div. I level. And he’s only grown as a player and improved his game since then.
Add to that the fact that KU coach Bill Self has said that Lawson might be this team’s best passer on top of all of those other skills and you’re looking at a guy who could very well record just the third official triple-double in KU history at some point during the upcoming season.
I realize that recording a triple-double isn’t exactly the same as setting a record. But at a place like KU, where it has only happened twice, it’s pretty much the same thing.
Cole Alrdich, with 13 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, recorded KU’s first official triple-double. And Jeff Withey, with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks during a regular season game at Allen Fieldhouse in 2012, snagged the second.
The KU media guide shows that Wilt Chamberlain had a couple of his own but they came before blocks were recognized as an official statistic. On top of that, both Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham found themselves in triple-double watches during the past couple of seasons, but neither player quite got there.
Lawson can and I think he will, with the points and rebounds coming as a result of what he does and double-digit assists coming off of easy lobs and drop-offs to Udoka Azubuike and kick-outs to KU’s guards on the perimeter.
Let’s say 15 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
It might not be a record that Lawson owns alone, but it’ll wind up in the record book and that’s good enough for me.
• Kansas Basketball Record Watch 2018-19 •