In scouting, we describe many players as having long arms. Basketball body types lend themselves to length, and naturally that's an asset that can become highly beneficial for a young player as he progresses.
But some guys have really long arms. Sophomore forward Dedric Lawson is one of those, standing 6-8 and sporting a 7-1 wingspan. He's thus able to play like a true post yet also possesses the skill of a face-up player.
As one member of a celebrated sibling duo, Lawson obviously must share the limelight on every occasion. He and touted junior brother K.J. performed impressively for Team Penny last year on the EYBL circuit, and they continue to score and soar with Memphis (Tenn.) Hamilton.
Only time will tell, but Dedric actually may be the more talented of the two. He already plays the face-up role he'll fill the remainder of his career, so at this point his primary emphasis merely needs to be refining his game.
He's a fairly good jump shooter with three-point range, and he's even more impressive putting the ball on the floor. Lawson dribbles naturally with both hands and stays under control when on the move, affording him several options to make a play. He can stop for a jump shot, advance to the bucket or whip a sharp pass to a waiting teammate. He doesn't stand out for having inordinate athleticism, but certainly he's sufficient in that regard.
His length also makes him a surprisingly effective shotblocker. Whether on his assignment or sliding over in help, Lawson has both reach and timing and utilizes both to bat away shots at a frequent clip. For the same reason he's also a fine rebounder on both ends, once again owing not only to his reach but also excellent instincts.
Mentally, he competes with a poise and savvy beyond his years. Matched against 17-under competition two years ahead of schedule, he carried himself like an old pro.
In terms of his recruitment, K.J. already has committed to Memphis and therefore the Tigers loom large for Dedric as well. Obviously, it's extremely early.
Looking ahead, he'll need to get stronger, of course, but Lawson's body farther along than that of most sophomores. Becoming a more consistent shooter also will be key, but nitpicking a Class of 2016 prospect makes little sense. He already boasts a complement of skills that would make most seniors jealous, and all he has is time on his side.