University of Memphis freshman small forward Dedric Lawson won’t be in this year’s draft, the school announced (Twitter link). The school refers to the 6’8″ 18-year-old as having withdrawn from the draft, though it doesn’t appear as though he ever entered. In any case, it looks like he won’t take advantage of the new rules that would have allowed him to go through workouts with NBA teams and, if invited, take part in the NBA combine while retaining his college eligibility. That’s somewhat surprising, since he was a candidate to go in the middle of the second round, with Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranking him the 45th-best prospect. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress pegs Lawson as the 28th-best freshman.
Lawson put up strong numbers this season, with 15.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. His rebounding average led the American Athletic Conference, and he was third in the conference with 1.7 blocks per contest. He showed range, knocking down 35.0% of his 3-point attempts, but he committed a conference-leading 104 total turnovers over 33 games, so NBA types will surely look for improvement in that area when he returns to school for next season.
The native of Memphis entered his hometown school at No. 32 in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index. His impact was almost immediate, as he went for 22 points and 15 rebounds against eventual Final Four team Oklahoma in just the second game of the season.