After seven halves of basketball, Dedric Lawson finally took off and played like the preseason All America candidate that he is.
It was an ugly start, but Kansas used a 24-0 run in the middle of Wednesday night’s contest to cruise past Marquette in the NIT Preseason Tip-Off tournament.
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When Dedric Lawson makes his shots, the Jayhawks can overcome just about anything. That was proven on Wednesday night, as Lawson keyed a second-half surge to lift No. 2 Kansas past Marquette in New York City.
Devon Dotson played the role of catalyst in the comeback win. In a performance Tyshawn Taylor would be proud of, Dotson had several plays where he showed off his slashing ability by blowing past his man en route to the rim. His court vision was spectacular, and he set up Lawson and Udoka Azubuike with numerous high-percentage shot attempts. It’s clear to me that Dotson is KU’s best pro point guard prospect under Self.
Azubuike being an auto-pull when he collects his second foul is ridiculous, by the way. With 9:29 left, Azubuike picked up his second foul on a moving screen, which is a call he’s only been whistled for twice all year. His first foul came 25 feet from the basket when he was pulled out of position. Despite the two fouls being low-percentage plays that would likely not happen again, Self opted to keep him on the bench until the second half. As KU’s offense sputtered down the stretch, they could have really utilized Azubuike to get them run-stopping baskets.
Azubuike is foul-prone, but Self needs to learn to trust his best offensive player when he has two fouls. One of these days, Kansas isn’t going to be able to count on a 24-0 run flipping the game on its head.
But if Lawson keeps playing the way he has, the Jayhawks won’t need a 24-0 run in the first place.