4-star Class of 2019 forward Chandler Lawson keeping a close eye on Kansas
Out in Southern California last weekend for yet another AAU event, Class of 2019 power forward Chandler Lawson, the younger brother of current Kansas players Dedric and K.J. Lawson, took a break from the action to discuss his game and his recruitment with a handful of reporters.
KUsports.com recruiting insider Matt Scott got ahold of that interview and received a little more insight into where the 6-foot-8, 200-pound prospect’s mind is heading into the final week of July.
“My recruiting’s going very well,” Lawson told a group of reporters, noting that Kansas, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Florida, Illinois and “a lot of SEC schools” had made the most contact with him thus far.
Lawson said his interactions with the KU coaching staff thus far had been as much about his siblings as his own status.
“They’re just telling me a lot about my brothers and to just keep on playing hard and keep on working hard,” said Lawson, who not only looks a lot like the two Jayhawks, but also sounds nearly identical to Dedric Lawson during interviews.
The younger Lawson, who labeled his versatility as his biggest strength, said he had been working on his guard skills and his back-to-the-basket game a lot this summer.
As for his plans for how the rest of his recruitment would play out, the four-star prospect, ranked No. 86 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, admitted to being pretty go with the flow about the whole thing.
“I don’t really know,” he said when asked if he had a time frame or process in mind. “I’m just going to pick.”
Regardless of when or how that happens, it’s clear that Kansas will have a shot to be in the mix.
“Coach (Bill) Self, he’s a Hall of Famer. I like him. He’s hard-nosed,” Lawson said. “It’s a big thing having my (brothers) there, because they can teach me a lot about the game and tell me how college is going to be when I get there."
Chandler Lawson, recently announced on Twitter that he will play his senior season at famed Oak Hill Academy, the same school that produced recent KU big men Billy Preston and David McCormack.
The most noteworthy aspect of the move to Oak Hill, however, is why it happened in the first place.
After playing for former NBA and Memphis State star Penny Hardaway for three seasons at Memphis’ East High — yes, Memphis was actually known as Memphis State when Penny played there — Hardaway left the school to become the new head coach at Memphis.
While that move clearly figures to make Memphis an attractive option for Chandler when it comes time to pick a college, the move out of Memphis will give him a year to experience life out of his hometown.
If he likes it and wants to join a blue blood program where he could possibly play with one or both of his older brothers, KU would certainly seem like the perfect option.
If he misses it and realizes that home is where the heart is, Hardaway could be in position to land Chandler as his big splash recruit — Chandler is in the Top 100 right now and could easily continue to rise — and begin to repair some of the wounds that inspired talented players like Dedric and K.J. to leave Memphis to begin with.
The belief around the city of Memphis is that Hardaway is exactly what the program needs to get back on track. Adding a player like Chandler — which could only help in Memphis’ pursuit of the youngest Lawson brother, Jonathan, a Class of 2021 forward — no doubt would generate some serious buzz within the Memphis basketball scene.
It’s far too early to tell if this is a Memphis vs. Kansas, Hardaway vs. Self type of recruiting battle. But if it is, each coach and program has its own built-in advantages.