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Additional Thoughts on Jacob Lawson's Commitment

I apologize if I am beating this topic to a bloody pulp, but Purdue's first commitment in over 300 days has awaken a sleeping giant in me. Here are a few random thoughts on Jacob Lawson's commitment, among a few other topics. Per usual, these may be a little incoherent so read on at your own risk...

  • As many of you have pointed out in the comments, Jacob Lawson gives Purdue some much needed depth in the front court. Considering the departure of Hummel and JJ, Purdue will likely need to solicit the services of all available big bodies to fill the gaps...or at least try... As it stands, Matt Painter will have Bade, Marcius, Carroll, Hale, and now Lawson at his disposal to man the front court for the '11-'12 season. This gives him a lot of options depending on what the situation warrants. Hale, Lawson, and (and maybe Bade with body transformation) will give Purdue a solid size/speed combo and will be able to play/guard 3 and 4 while Carroll and Marcius will eat up space and grab rebounds at the 5.  Painter may have an arsenal of diverse skill sets and body types to utilize in the front court.
  • Lawson and Hale will bring a great deal of athleticism to the team. They both have a knack for defense, rebounding, and blocking shots and will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact doing just that. But if the two forwards can refine their offense, their impact would increase exponentially. They have the have the tools to be great college players, they just need to put in the work to get there.

The good news is that their offensive improvement is a definite possibility. Hale demonstrated a much improved shooting percentage his senior year, including adding a respectable 3pt shot. He was also recognized for a stellar summer performance and improved his ranking to #44 in the Rivals Top-150 (not that it means much of anything). With another year of development in prep school, it's within the realm of possibility that he comes into Purdue and plays a much bigger role than anyone expected. Lawson, on the other hand, could make similiar improvements.  While I haven't personally seen Lawson demonstrate his work ethic, it seems to be one of his most noted attributes (besides his dunking ability, of course) by those who are close to him. Any player who wants to come to Purdue to play defense is welcome in my book.
  • If his commitment to academics is any indication of his work ethic, Lawson might be a perfect fit for this team. He says he'd like to major in engineering. Hmmm, sounds like Lawson and Chasson Randle would be good friends - eh, eh?
  • Lawson averaged 14.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks last season for the Oak Ridge Military Academy Cadets. His numbers are pretty impressive considering the Cadets won the State Championship (later rescinded) and he plays alongside two other D-1 prospects in his class (Chris Jones -Tennessee and Michael Neal - Appalachian State.). He'll come to West Lafayette as a proven winner and no stranger to playing with/against high-level talent.
  • It's interesting to see Painter nab a kid out of North Carolina. While in-state recruiting will likely be his bread and butter, he has demonstrated that he can expand his reach across the country if needed. Hopefully he won't need to for the class of 2013 considering the offers that he has outstanding...
  •  If you are wondering what to expect with the final scholarship for class of 2011, It's safe to assume Painter is reserving it exclusively for guard Chasson Randle or (or Aaron Thomas if he decides to offer). Randle has an official visit to Purdue scheduled for September 25th, so I wouldn't imagine much action on his recruiting front until after at least after that. If he misses out, he can save his final scholarship for the 2012 class and prevent over-signing. While a Hale/Lawson class is pretty good in my book, I'd feel a lot more comfortable adding a scorer to balance things out.
  •  Is it inevitable for Lawson to be compared to MSU's Branden Dawson during their respective college careers? It may not be fair (or even an accurate comparison), but let's be real - it's gunna happen. That will be an interesting storyline you can look forward to in the future...