Kansas junior Dedric Lawson makes Associated Press’ preseason All-America team

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Kansas junior power forward Dedric Lawson has been chosen to the Associated Press’ preseason All-America men’s basketball team, which was announced Tuesday.

Lawson, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound transfer from Memphis, was joined on the team by Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, North Carolina’s Luke Maye, Duke’s R.J. Barrett, Nevada’s Caleb Martin and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ.

Martin and Happ were the first players to tie for the fifth spot on the preseason All-America team since 2012-13.

Lawson was fourth in the voting after appearing on 30 of the 65 ballots from a national media panel. Purdue’s Edwards was leading vote getter, appearing on 63 ballots. Lawson averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds a game his sophomore season at Memphis before transferring to Kansas.

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“I’d say fine,” KU coach Bill Self said, asked about Lawson’s defensive abilities at the recent KU basketball media day. “He’s not a jet-quick explosive athlete, but he’s a terrific athlete. His first step is very effective. He’s a great shot blocker. What Dedric’s going to have to do is play everywhere. There’s times where he can be our best point guard and our best low post scorer, so we have to move him around and come up with some creative ways to do that.”

Lawson downplayed personal achievements at media day.

“The only time I see those things is when somebody sends it to my phone,” Lawson said of accolades. “One of my friends back home said coach (Self) said I was the best passer on the team. I have seen coach has said I can be Big 12 player of the year. I take it all in as compliments. At the end of the day, I still have to produce, put work in. I don’t get too high or low on praise or criticism,” Lawson added.

Of KU’s big man group, he said: “There’s been talk about it’s the best frontcourt in the country. We’re trying to be competitive, push each other to keep that going to show people what we can do, and not let people down.”

West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate was the only other Big 12 player to receive a vote (1). Missouri’s Jontay Porter also received one vote.

AP All-America list

Here is the Associated Press 2018-19 preseason All-America team, with school, height, year and votes from a 65-member national media panel (2017-18 statistics in parentheses):

Carsen Edwards, Purdue, 6-1, 200, sophomore, 63 votes (18.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.8 apg, 40.6 3pt fg pct, 1.1 steals)

Luke Maye, North Carolina, 6-8, 240, senior, 52 (16.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 43.1 3pt fg pct, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks)

R.J. Barrett, Duke, 6-7, 202, freshman, 50 (high school: 28.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 4.5 apg)

Dedric Lawson, Kansas, 6-9, 235, junior, 30 (Memphis 2016-17: 19.2 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.1 blocks, 1.3 steals)

Ethan Happ, Wisconsin, 6-10, 237, senior, 23 (17.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.7 apg, 52.8 fg pct, 1.5 steals)

Caleb Martin, Nevada, 6-7, 205, senior, 23 (18.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 40.3 3pt fg pct, 1.3 steals)

Other receiving votes: Grant Williams, Tennessee, 18; Tyus Battle, Syracuse, 11; Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga, 10; Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s, 10; Kyle Guy, Virginia, 8; Mike Daum, South Dakota State, 6; Markus Howard, Marquette, 5; Reid Travis, Kentucky, 5; Zion Williamson, Duke, 3; Tremont Waters, LSU, 2; Cassius Winston, Michigan State, 2; Sagaba Konate, West Virginia, 1; Romeo Langford, Indiana, 1; Eric Paschall, Villanova, 1; Jontay Porter, Missouri, 1.

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