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November 30, 2013
Lawson brothers shine in Dallas
DUNCANVILLE, Texas -- The Thanksgiving Hoopfest at Duncanville High School just outside of Dallas has become an annual winter stop for Rivals.com. Always stacked with most of the talent-rich Dallas area's top players, it was a pair of players from out of town who stole the show on Friday as the Memphis brother tandem of Keelon and Dedric Lawson combined for 46 points and 29 rebounds in a win over a talented Plano West squad featuring the junior duo of Ohio State commitment Mickey Mitchell and fast rising D.J. Hogg.
Lawson show takes over Hoopfest
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Keelon Lawson and Dedric Lawson both had big outings during Memphis (Tenn.) Hamilton's 89-84 win over Plano (Texas) West. After all, Keelon -- who has given an early commitment to Memphis -- is a 6-foot-6 small forward ranked No. 25 overall in the class of 2015 while Dedric is a 6-foot-8 combo forward who ranks No. 5 nationally in the class of 2016. But, the way the duo took control early and then helped their team hold on late was quite eye-catching.
Both have great size and a great feel for things, but it is their overall skill level that stands out. The older of the two, Keelon is a bit stronger than his brother. He prefers to shoot mid-range jumpers, make tough finishes at the hoop and then get out in transition. He can shoot from three-point range, but is much more judicious in his shot attempts from deep than his younger brother. On the day, Keelon was good for 23 points and eight rebounds while making 11 of 19 shots from the field.
Two inches taller than his older brother, Dedric certainly has a wow factor to his game. He's not overly athletic, but his ability to handle the ball -- he initiated the offense more often than not -- shoot from deep, create offense and dominate the glass makes him a major problem for defenses. His style is also very crowd-friendly with his crafty ball-handling and willingness to pull from 30 feet. After a ridiculously hot start, he lost his shot during the third and most of the fourth quarter before hitting a couple of huge buckets late to finish with 23 points and 21 rebounds.
"It was a great experience coming down here to Texas," Dedric told Rivals.com. "I just wanted to come out here and play the way I normally play. Playing with confidence, playing with the crowd and making sure they have a good show."
Obviously, with his older brother committed to Memphis and how well the Tigers have dominated recruiting in their city, the question is when will Dedric become a Tiger? For now, the younger Lawson said it is fair to say that Memphis is recruiting him the hardest, but he's trying to remain open. He said that Kentucky, and Stanford, have been in to see him and that Duke and North Carolina have reached out.
"I'm still just looking around," said Lawson. "Memphis is my city and I love Memphis and playing in front of my home crowd, but my options are still open."
Gilder turns up his game
For the past couple of months, sources in Dallas have been telling Rivals.com to watch out for junior combo guard Admon Gilder. The 6-foot-2 product of Dallas (Texas) Madison already ranks No. 123 in the 2015 Rivals150, but if his play on Friday is any indication, he is well on his way to four-star status.
Currently a three-star prospect, Gilder is a smooth scoring machine with a very well-rounded offensive game. He's a very confident shooter from deep with a compact stroke, he can create for himself off the dribble and he's starting to add strength and explosiveness to his game. During a win over host Duncanville during the final game of the night, Gilder went for 27 points, 13 rebounds and four steals.
Gilder says he has firm offers from SMU, Vanderbilt and Boise State, while Baylor, Wichita State, Clemson, Oklahoma State, Kansas State (had an assistant on hand) and Texas A&M were others he mentioned as showing more attention. Baylor had a pair of assistants in attendance on Friday and Gilder visited Oklahoma State in October.
Moving forward, Gilder also said that he's hoping to transition to more of a point guard role.
"I'm playing more of the one," said Gilder. "I'm not very tall, so I want to play more at the one as the year goes on."
More Day 1 notables
Currently ranked No. 23 in the class of 2015, Ohio State-bound Mickey Mitchell is making his way back from a torn ACL that cost him his sophomore season. The 6-foot-7 forward at Plano (Texas) West is clearly still feeling his way around, but he showed signs of his playmaking ability and versatile game. Mitchell's thing is making plays off the dribble and using his outstanding passing ability and there were flashes of his old self during a 12-point, eight-rebound and four-assist effort. Mitchell already has college strength, but also showed that he's still working through some kinks and working to get his explosion back.
Mitchell's junior teammate D.J. Hogg made huge waves just a month ago at the Elite 14 in Wichita Falls. The 6-foot-7 wing who already ranks No. 49 nationally proved that his play at the Elite 14 was no fluke with a strong 25-point, nine-rebound outing. Hogg got off to a slow start from the field but came on strong during the second half. He can shoot from deep, post up, make plays in transition and is definitely working on a bump in the rankings. It wasn't just Admon Gilder making noise for Dallas Madison. Senior forward Johnathan Turner had a big night as well. A 6-foot-7 two-star prospect, the lean four man had 22 points and four rebounds. He's a good open court athlete capable of knocking down some jumpers.
An available senior big man, Rick Curry looked like he could be in store for a bump from two to three-star status. A 6-foot-8, 240-pounder at Grand Prairie (Texas) South Grand Prairie, Curry was highly efficient and productive during a 16-point, 14-rebound effort in a win over the Episcopal School of Dallas. Curry visited Washington State during the fall and also mentioned New Mexico, New Orleans and Stephen F. Austin.
Curry's sophomore teammate Cameron McGriff is a potential four-star prospect in 2016. A big time athlete, McGriff had a quiet afternoon but showed flashes of potential. He has offers from SMU, Houston, Creighton and Rider while Texas A&M, Texas, UTEP, Tulane, Kansas State and Baylor have all been in to see him.
Miami got a guy who should fit them well in three-star power forward Omar Sherman. A 6-foot-7 post player at host Duncanville, Sherman was quite productive in a 19-point and 15-rebound effort. Despite the loss to Dallas Madison, Sherman showed tools that will get him minutes in Coral Gables. He can face up and shoot the ball, has a big body and crafty game around the rim that helps to overcome what will be a slight size disadvantage on the next level and he is a smart player. Most importantly, Sherman has gone to work on his body and with better shape and more strength he's become more explosive near the rim and much more capable of finishing through contact.
The game between Jackson (Miss.) Provine and Dallas (Texas) Prime Prep was a relatively sloppy affair, but it did give junior wing Jerekius Davis of Provine a chance to put himself on the map. A physical and athletic small forward with some post up game, ability to finish in transition and a great motor, Davis finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Finally, keep an eye out for shooting guard Josh Parrish from the class of 2016. A 6-foot-3 shooting guard at Arlington (Texas) Seguin, Parrish' older brother Brandon is having a fine freshman season at TCU and Josh is showing signs of being a pretty good player himself. The lefty has a good looking stroke, can finish at the rim and gets to the free throw line.