Branden Dawson Stars in Front of Vince Taylor

Branden Dawson, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound junior from Gary (IN) Lew Wallace, is one of the Midwest's top players in the Class of 2011. Dawson shined at last spring's Sabes Invitational and has attracted the attention of many top programs, including Minnesota. Gopher assistant coach Vince Taylor watched Dawson shine in Friday playoff win over Hammond as he scored a game-high 22 points.

Branden Dawson scored 22 points to lead Gary Lew Wallace to a 78-52 win over Hammond in the Class 3A Gary Sectional semifinals Friday night. Minnesota assistant coach Vince Taylor and an assistant from Illinois were in attendance.

The Hornets will face Roosevelt in the Class 3A Gary Sectional final tonight.

Dawson has received strong interest from schools such as Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Georgetown, UCLA, Michigan State, Minnesota, Kentucky and Marquette. Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith sent Dawson a text message last month wishing him a "Happy Birthday."

He is averaging 25.8 points and 14.9 rebounds per game.

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