NBPA: Q&A with Tywon Lawson

RICHMOND, Va. --- You asked and Tywon Lawson answered. Last week we collected questions from Inside Carolina's readers and then sat down with the future Tar Heel at the NBPA Camp to present him your questions ...

Lawson was one of the top point guards at the camp. No one likely recorded more steals and no one could keep Lawson from getting to the hoop. He knows he'll attend at least one more national event, the Nike All-American Camp next week, though that may be the end of the circuit for him.

"Right now I'm going to Nike Camp," he said. "From there, I don't know what I'm going to do. I might go to Peach Jam and I might go to [Las] Vegas. I don't know yet."

If he chooses to skip July's big AAU events, it will be partially because his star teammate won't be there, either.

"[I'll] probably just want to stay home and work out at home," Lawson said. "Kevin [Durant] isn't going either so it will be kind of hard to win without him."

Now on to the Q&A with questions from the IC readers ...

How did Carolina get you to commit so early?

"I was just ready to get my recruitment over. A lot of coaches were calling me. I just wanted to get it out of the way so I could focus on my schoolwork and basketball. I really like North Carolina, it was my dream school."

How big a deciding factor was Coach Williams in your decision?

"He was a big factor, because I like his style and the way he treats his point guards. He wants them to run the team. I like him – I like him a lot."

Did Ray Felton's success as UNC's PG the last three years have any effect on your decision and how do you compare your game to Felton's?

"It was a big factor, because I saw what Roy Williams did for Raymond Felton – and a lot of people say I play just like Raymond Felton. My game's similar to his. I've been talking to him here a lot. … I've been talking to him about North Carolina, how Roy Williams is, how he wants the offense run and what things to do and how it is up there. He's been telling me a lot of stuff, so it's been fun talking to him."

You follow in a great line of Carolina point guards - a legacy left behind by Ford, Smith, Phelps, McInnis, Cota and Felton. Any favorites?

"Ed Cota. I watched a lot of him and that's one of the only point guards I've known from them. The way he used to drive to the basket, get everybody involved."

And your coach here is a Carolina guy, former Tar Heel Charlie Scott. How's that been playing for him?

"It's been fun. He tells me, 'Roy Williams won't let you do that at North Carolina, Roy Williams won't let you do that.' He has been telling me good things about North Carolina.

"He told me what he has done and what he did to get there to make himself good at North Carolina and what things he won."

Talk about playing here at the NBPA Camp in the same backcourt with Wayne Ellington, which is a preview of things to come in Chapel Hill?

"It's been fun because you know you always have someone to kick the ball out to and can knock down the open shot or create for himself. He's an easy assist. I think it's going to be a good backcourt in the years to come."

Anyone else from your class that you would like most to play with at Carolina?

"Probably Thaddeus Young. I heard he's good and plays similar to Kevin [Durant], so I want to play with him. We were going to play with him here, but he's injured.

"I'm just talking to him, asking how he likes his schools, stuff like that and what he thinks of it and making sure he wants to take an official visit – just things like that. We've been talking about it."

Are you trying to persuade any others to come to UNC?

"Roy Williams told me those players that he has been in contact with that he wants to come.

"I'm trying to get a couple players, and [Wayne's] trying to get a couple too… [I'm working on] Spencer Hawes, Alex Stepheson, Darrell Arthur, Thaddeus [Young].

"Spencer Hawes, I talk to him on Instant Message - and Thaddeus. They all have Sidekicks so I talk to them. Even if they don't have one, I'll call and talk to them. They're all cool people."

You played with Spencer Hawes and Alex Stepheson in France …

"Yeah, I like both of them. They both play hard and play well, they both have a good inside presence so I like playing with them. [Spencer and I] went to Oregon, so I talked to him since we went there."

What do you say to try and recruit someone?

"I just ask him how he liked it, has he visited yet, or what schools he is looking at. … I say stuff like they will get the ball. They will get the opportunity to win a national championship if we get enough people."

Your AAU, and former high school, teammate Kevin Durant surprised some with his decision to go to Texas. Did he tell you why he made that decision?

"You know, Danny Green? He plays the same position as Kevin and he was worried that Danny Green might play well this season and he wouldn't have a chance to start next year. He wanted to come in and start so that's why he really didn't come to North Carolina. … I kind of saw it coming. If Danny Green wasn't going there, he said he'd have definitely come, but he told me he had to go somewhere where he could start right away. ... I think it was a good [decision for him]. He had good reasons not to go to North Carolina. I can see where he's coming from."

When you were young, who was the player you always pretended to be while shooting around?

"I used to pretend to be Michael Jordan, just like everybody else. Pretend like I'm hitting the last shot and things like that."

What college or NBA player do you compare your game to?

"Just Felton. That's the only person right now that I see I play like."

Some have you ranked as the No. 1 PG in the class. How do you stack up and what great PGs have challenged you this AAU season?

"I like it, but I've got to keep working to make sure I keep it. The only one who has challenged me is Sherron Collins. I like his game a lot. I played him last year at Nike Camp and I knew he was going to become one of the top point guards last year. He was good, but nobody knew about him."

You've been listed anywhere from 5-10 to 6-1. How tall are you really?

"They measured me at 5-11 with shoes off, and 6-foot with shoes on."

Preferred nickname?

"Everybody calls me Ty."

What number do you plan on wearing?

"I'll try and get No. 1. [Informed Lawson that Marcus Ginyard chose that number this summer]. He did? I don't know, maybe 5 or 10 .. I don't know - I'll have to think about it."

What are you looking forward to most about your time at UNC?

"Just playing, getting to know the other players and having fun."

Give us a brief synopsis of your ideal college career at Carolina.

"I hope we get a national championship, of course. Have fun and win games and get better."

You're down by one at Duke, with the ball and 10 seconds left - what happens next? And could you describe the expression on Coach K's face when you execute the play?

"Probably driving down, looking for Wayne on the right side or shoot the floater – or if I'm wide open go all the way to the basket. [Coach K], he'll be upset, like when Marvin Williams hit the and-one."


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