Keon Lawrence, a 6’2 combo guard transfer from Missouri, is ready to return to his native Newark, adding another dimension to the suddenly crowded Pirates backcourt.
"Keon is an incredible recruit for us," Gonzalez said. "He has a huge name in the state of New Jersey and he’s coming back home to Newark. He can play the one and the two. He’s a natural scorer and really an electrifying, exciting player that the fans are just going to love. When he decided to transfer, everyone in the country wanted him, but he chose us. I think that really says something about where we’re headed as a program."
Lawrence, a member of the "impact transfer" trio, attended Weequahic High School, where he earned the nickname, "the human pogo stick" for his athleticism and crowd pleasing dunks.
In the ‘07-08 season, the guard led the Tigers in minutes played and field goal attempts while averaging 11pts/3.3rbs/2.4ast. Most notably, the marquee performance of his sophomore year came against the eventual NCAA Champion Kansas Jayhawks. Lawrence dropped 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting in Allen Fieldhouse, while adding six assists on a nationally televised scene.
Before choosing Missouri, Lawrence was heavily recruited by heavyweights such as Marquette, Texas and Villanova due to his impressive high school stat sheet. As a senior at Weequahic, Keon averaged 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game, including a legendary 52 point performance without the assistance of any three pointers.
Bobby Gonzalez has a problem on his hands that most NCAA coaches would love the opportunity to resolve. Keon, who may be the most athletic guard on the roster, will need to compete for time with starting senior Eugene Harvey, leading scorer Jeremy Hazell, the impressive sophomore Jordan Theodore and fellow JUCO transfer, Jamel Jackson. However, if first impressions (against a Carleton defense, mind you) count for anything, Lawrence is off to a quick start, shooting a perfect 5-of-5 from the field in Friday’s exhibition rout.