Recruiting: Sampson lands Minnesota guard

Minnesota guard Lawrence McKenzie talks about his game and his recent verbal to Oklahoma


Lawrence McKenzie is the latest commitment for the Oklahoma men's basketball team. Considered one of the quickest players in the country, McKenzie should fit right in with the Sooners basketball program. I had a chance to track down McKenzie today to gather his thoughts on committing to the Sooners.

JH: When did you commit to OU?

LM: I went to the OU basketball camp last weekend and I committed to them Thursday. It wasn't really the campus, but it was how great some of the guys were. I had an opportunity to hang out with them and play a little ball with them and they are more like a family atmosphere, which is what I was looking for. OU also has NBA-like practice gyms and great facilities. OU is just a great program and it was easy to commit to them, considering everything they have going for them.

JH: How many years will you be a starter at Patrick Henry and what kind of season did you have last season?

LM: I will be a three-year starter next year and last season I averaged 13 ppg and eight assist per game. We have a very good team and it's not important for me to put together big numbers. Coach Ray Lopes, who used to be at Oklahoma, took one of our players with him to Fresno State. We had another player go to Centenary out of Louisiana and we had a couple of guys to go JUCO. Our team was very tight and my job was to get my guys the ball and spread it around.

JH: It sounds like you have things going pretty well?

LM: Yes, we have it going pretty well. We have won three straight state championships and we have a very good chance to win it again. We have a junior (Stephen Neal) who is going to be a great one. He just returned from the NIKE camp and played very well. Stephen is a 6'5 swing player for us and then we have a 6'8 big man (Calvin Walls) that is a very good player. Calvin will be a senior next year and he is being recruited by UNLV, Illinois State, Drake and many others.

JH: What style of basketball do you play?

LM: We are an up-and-down style of team and we usually score off of our defense. I am a quick guard who likes to get my teammates the ball first, but if I have to score I will do whatever I have to do to get that done. I will do whatever it takes to win. I am a good 3-point shooter and I have a nice mid-range jumper. There will be games where I won't miss a 3-pointer, then there will be that game where I only hit 2-of-7 and on those days I have other ways to score. Then, if I am on from the outside and people come up on me I am so much quicker than they are that I blow by them. I have been told I am very athletic and I can play way above the rim.

JH: What other schools did you consider?

LM: I considered Minnesota, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Arizona and UNLV.

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