LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball standout Dedric Lawson has declared for the NBA Draft, the 2018-19 redshirt-junior forward announced via Twitter Monday morning.
“Dedric informed me shortly after the season of his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “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.”
“Dedric came here, sat out last season, and had only one year to participate in competition,” Self added. “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.”
Lawson expressed his intentions via social media.
“After prayer and discussion with my family, I will pursue my life’s dream by declaring for the NBA draft,” Lawson tweeted. “I will begin my preparation for the NBA immediately. Rock Chalk Jayhawk for Life!!”
Named Consensus All-America Third Team, Lawson concluded his lone season at Kansas averaging 19.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, leading the Big 12 in both stats and becoming the first Jayhawk to average a double-double since Thomas Robinson who averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds in 2011-12. The 2019 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection, Lawson is the only player in the league averaging a double-double.
Lawson amassed 22 double-doubles in 2018-19 which ranked tied for second nationally and third on the Kansas single-season list. The Memphis, Tennessee, forward’s 700 points rank ninth on the KU single-season scoring list and his 371 rebounds are eighth on the school season list. Lawson was a three-time Big 12 Player of the Week (11/12, 11/26, 12/26) and five-time league newcomer of the week (12/3, 12/17, 1/14, 1/28, 2/11) this past season.
“First, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the talent and opportunities to play the game I love,” is how Lawson’s tweet started. “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 allowing me to recreate myself and display my talents.”
Lawson, who sat out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA rules, has been a double-double machine throughout his college career. He amassed 36 double-doubles in two seasons while at Memphis (17 as a freshman and 19 as a sophomore). Lawson led Memphis in scoring and rebounding both his freshman (15.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and sophomore (19.2 ppg, 9.9 rpg) seasons.
Historically, Lawson has 58 career double-doubles, which are fourth on the NCAA Division I active list. He was the only non-senior on the NCAA Division I top-10 list.
Lawson is the third member of the 2018-19 roster that will not be returning next season. Guards Charlie Moore and K.J. Lawson have announced their intentions to transfer.