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November 16, 2013

Memphis Commit Lawson Leads Hamilton in Early Battle

Recent Memphis commit Keelon Lawson (6'7", 185, 2015) leads his Hamilton Wildcats into a key early-season battle against Fatodd Lewis and the Raleigh-Egypt Pharaohs.

Lawson was in good form Thursday night in the SCIAA Jamboree at Hamilton, scoring virtually at will against a game but overmatched Booker T. Washington squad en route to a 26-16 triumph. The game was played with a continuously running clock for one (1) 18-minute period.

K.J. Lawson was everywhere on the floor for Hamilton, spending a little bit of time at the point on offense while defending just about everyone BTW had on the floor. Lawson was extremely disruptive on defense and also put his tenacious rebounding ability on display, as well.

Lewis and the Pharaohs participated in the same Jamboree earlier in the evening, and Lewis, too, had a fine outing. His signature moment came when he stretched out on a fast break and, while at full extension, threw down the nastiest dunk of the evening.

Lewis (6'8", 210, 2014) has been recruited by nearly every SEC program over the past three (3) years. He burst on the scene as a freshman at R-E, teaming with Billy Rosenberg to give the Pharaohs one of the most imposing frontcourt duos in the city of Memphis. Now, he partners with Arcuas "Duece" McGhee (6'9", 190, 2014) in a pairing that should make for a tremendous matchup with the Lawsons, K.J. and his younger brother Dedric Lawson (6'8", 190, 2016).

Dedric is a top-5 prospect nationally in the Class of 2016 and has drawn interest from scores of high-major programs, including everyone in the SEC (yes, including Kentucky) plus Memphis (of course). He's a smooth operator who blocks shots, rebounds, runs the floor and shoots the three with equal aplomb. He tends to defer to his older brother but by game's end he always seems to have a double-double.

Lewis and McGhee are a dynamic pairing in their own right. Lewis is a tremendous scorer and rebounder who is skilled enough to put the ball on the floor and blow by slower defenders. When his motor is in high gear, few can match him. McGhee isn't as polished on offense but has such tremendous hands and lateral motion that he can defend every position on the floor, including point guards on defensive switches.

The wild cards in the game could be Terrance Birdsong (6'7", 230, 2015) from Hamilton and Raleigh-Egypt's Michael Henry (6'6", 175, 2015). Birdsong is a ravenous beast on the low block, a virtually unstoppable brute with a soft touch around the rim. He's a consensus top-50 guy in 2015. While Henry doesn't have nearly the same kind of reputation or bulk as Birdsong but he's a real battler who will not make it easy on Birdsong or anyone else when they venture into the paint.

Raleigh-Egypt's bigs benefit from the expertise of former Memphis State legend Keith Lee, who is a good friend and assistant coach to R-E's sideline general, Duane Stokes.

One final development to watch out for is the continued development of Hamilton guard Romero Hill (6'2", 180, 2016). Hill spent some time at the point during the Jamboree, a position he will likely man on the collegiate level. Hill is a sturdy defender, solid shooter and heady basketball player who contributes all over the floor.

Game time is 5:00 p.m. Saturday at Raleigh-Egypt (3970 Voltaire, Memphis, TN, 38128). Tickets cost $7.

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