Checking in at 6-foot-8 and 210 pounds, Oak Ridge Academy (NC) combo forward Jacob Lawson is a matchup problem for opposing power forwards and small forwards. He has the strength and postup game to take smaller defenders in the post and has expanded his game enough that he can face-up bigger defenders and exploit them on the perimeter.
"I think I can score in the paint or outside," he said. "I like attacking the basket though... just making plays."
"Jacob reminds me a lot of James Mays," Oak Ridge head coach Stan Kowalewski previously told Pack Pride. "Athletically he's a lot like James... he can rebound the basketball and really block shots. I've coached Jacob since he was a freshman and he brings incredible speed and quickness off the floor. He has excellent hands and rebounds well.
"He's developing into a complete basketball player. He's always flourished at running the floor, blocking shots, and finishing at the rim. He's learning to drive and finish and handle the basketball. He's working on his jumpshot... he's developing his game even more."
Helping Lawson in the paint for Oak Ridge is NC State 2012 verbal Joseph Uchebo. The 6'11, 240-pounder returned to action late in December and has been a force in the paint.
"He adds toughness," Lawson said of Uchebo. "He's real strong. He gets the ball and goes up to the basket. He makes buckets.
"Sometimes when another player is off he'll come in and say let's go... let's play. He basically encourages everybody. He just loves to play basketball."
While Uchebo is committed, Lawson's recruitment is just now heating up. He has been playing well lately and the interest from high-major colleges has increased.
"Seton Hall, NC State, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Florida, Miami, and are about some of the schools recruiting me," said Lawson. "I have offers from Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Miami, and I think NC State. I've already been to NC State and Wake Forest for games."
Lawson visited NC State in January and indicated that the Wolfpack coaches are extremely interested.
"When I went up to NC State it was a good visit," he said. "I like their style of play and the coaches.
"They want to see me run and play. They want to see what I can do and put me out there to make plays. The coaches said they love what I can do and not what I can't do if that makes sense. They want to put me out there and just let me play."
While NC State is in the mix for Lawson's services he isn't close to reaching a decision. However, he's starting to form a list and has a tentative timeframe for giving a verbal commmitment.
"My top group would be Miami, Syracuse, Seton Hall, I like the Florida Gators, Clemson and NC State," said Lawson. "I like the way they all play. I think I could fit in at any of those schools.
"I've been talking with my dad, and I think I might be making a decision in the summer."