BW: Lawson, Durant Erupt Saturday Night

HAMPTON, Va. - On May 6, Kevin Durant and Tywon Lawson will take an official visit to North Carolina. On April 9, the two junior stars put on a spectacular show, combining for 71 points to propel the DC Blue Devils past Team Texas and into the semifinals.

Durant set the tone early, shooting 5-5 on first-half three-pointers en route to 38 points (11-21 FG, 7-10 3pt, 9-11 FT), 10 rebounds and 3 assists in the game, including a tomahawk dunk in the final seconds that capped off the 92-77 victory. But it was Lawson who took over in the second half, helping keep the Devils ahead when Team Texas closed the lead to one point, a comeback accomplished largely because of 23 second-half points from another junior star, Darrell Arthur. Arthur finished with 27 points (9-16 FG, 4-9 3pt, 5-5 FT) and 6 rebounds in a losing cause.

Lawson was unstoppable, consistently getting into the paint and scoring to the tune of 21 second-half points. Whether it was through tough finishes at the rim in traffic (often despite fouls), nasty crossovers into pull-up jumpers, and shake-and-bake drives ending in soft floaters in the lane, he filled the lane and the scoring column of the stat sheet. All told, the top junior guard racked up 33 points (12-16 FG, 1-3 3pt, 8-10 FT), 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.

"It's probably one of my top [AAU] performances," Lawson said.

Confidence is built on performances like this one, and Lawson didn't shy away from answering the question of who is the best point guard in the Class of 2006.


Durant
"I think [that I'm the best]," Lawson responded. "But I haven't seen D.J. Augustin and Mike Conley play in person."

One of the most impressive elements of Lawson's game is his deadly effectiveness in the space between three-point bombs and lay-ups.

"My dad and my coach tell me to work on my mid-range game because I [usually] only go to the basket and shoot three's," Lawson said.

That work is paying off, too. Even on the rare occasion when opposing guards were able to stop him from getting all the way to the basket, they couldn't take away his ability to stop on a dime, elevate quickly, and knock down the 8- to 10-foot jump shot.

Lawson had an aura of invincibility on the court tonight, but he knows his game still needs fine-tuning.

"[I'm focused on] distributing the ball more and improving my shot," he said. He also values the opportunities that playing next to someone like Durant provides. "Kevin, he's really good," Lawson said. "I like working with him because he's a big man, and I'm a small guard."

Like his scorching scoring totals on the court, Lawson's recruitment is really heating up this spring. As mentioned previously, he and Durant will be in Chapel Hill for an official visit the weekend of May 6, and Lawson understands where he stands with the Tar Heel coaching staff.

"They said that I'm one of the top three recruits as far as point guards," Lawson said. "That's what they told me."

Additionally, Lawson knows what it will take to make sure the spot in Chapel Hill is his --should he decide he wants it. "[I] just keep working to get better," he added.

As far as his relationship with Durant, the two play their summers together with the Devils and spend their high school seasons leading the way for Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill. The obvious question, then, is what about the possibility of continuing their relationship at the next level?

"We talked a little bit [about going to the same college], but he has a couple schools that I don't have on my list, like Texas and Kentucky," Lawson said. "I would like [to go to school with Durant], but I'm trying to stay close to the area, like the ACC, and he's trying to go all the way out West.

"I want to go to the ACC because that's the toughest conference there is," he added.

Lawson said he is targeting a decision by the end of the summer or late fall, but he might not wait that long.

"If my visit goes really well, I might [commit to North Carolina]," he said.


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