Durant, Lawson Lead Oak Hill

BENTON, Ky. -- After enjoying successful sophomore campaigns in the greater Washington D.C. area, Kevin Durant and Tywon Lawson decided that they needed a change of scenery. Already club teammates with the D.C. Blue Devils, the 6-9 Durant and the 5-11 Lawson both decided that the best place to hone their skills would be storied Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill.

Friday evening at the Marshall County Hoop Fest in Benton (KY), the duo -- now juniors -- had their first chance in a national spotlight to show how much their games had progressed. For Durant, it was a chance to justify all of the hype about his crazy inside-out ability, and for Lawson it was a chance to prove that he could get his and lead a team to victory like he'll be asked to do on the next level………..mission accomplished.

Taking on a fired up Jackson (Miss.) Lanier squad -- led by uber scorer Monta Ellis who delivered a cool 51 points -- in the nightcap in front of no less than 6,00 fans, Durant and Lawson each stepped up and delivered command performances as they led their team to an entertaining 94-80 victory. On the evening Durant was good for a team high 24 points and eight rebounds while Lawson chimed in with 23 points, three assists and three rebounds of his own.

Most readers already know the book on Durant. He's skinny, likes to roam the perimeter, runs the court very well and has a deft shooting touch. All of that is true but in reality, Durant -- who by age should be a member of the class of 2007 -- brings much more than that to the table. He's got a virtually unmatched skill-set at his size, runs the court with an endless reserve of energy and finally has the look of a kid who knows that he can decimate any defense designed to stop him.

He can take on hard dribble and then step back to drill a three, he finishes on the break, swats shots and cleans the glass. Perhaps more impressively, he is able to do it in a somewhat quiet manner. As good as Durant was on Friday, onlookers couldn't help but leave the building wondering what will happen once he packs on some needed muscle and starts wanting to dominate.

On the other hand you have Lawson. He's another kid who needed to have muscle and he's taken care of that and then some while bulking up to a very cut 180 pounds. The benchmark of his game has always been quickness and it is still there and it is only accentuated by the added strength when he gets into the lane. His mentality is to score first, and it certainly showed at times on a loaded Oak Hill squad, but he is improving as a playmaker each time he takes the court. Considered one of the elite guards in the country, Lawson is only going to bolster that reputation each time he takes the court and at this time an all out brawl among ACC schools looking to secure his services is being waged.

Due to the late hour at which the game ended and the throng of autograph seekers that surrounded the court following the Oak Hill victory, InsideCarolina was unable to speak with either Lawson or Durant. However, we can report that North Carolina head coach Roy Williams is expected to be in the building late Saturday evening when Oak Hill faces Homewood (IL) Flossmoor and Kansas commitment 6-8 WF Julian Wright.

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