USC basketball coach Frank Martin told the media earlier this month he was hoping for some good recruiting news in the near future. He got that news Tuesday night when 6-7 AJ Lawson of Brompton, ONT announced a commitment to the Gamecocks choosing them over Creighton and Tulane.
Lawson averaged 21 points per game last season for GTA Prep in Mississauga. He also was a standout for the Canadian U18 National Team in the recent Americas Championship.
“From the first time I was on campus it felt like home,” Lawson said in his announcement video. “My family was happy and it felt like a great opportunity there. Frank Martin, he’s a great guy. He told he could help me out with the principles on defense and can expand my game on the court. I felt like it was the best decision for me and where my family was comfortable and it’s just where I want to be.”
“He’s a special player,” said GTA coach David Cooper. “His size and his skill set, his ability to push the ball, control the basketball at his size, see the floor, he has a really good feel. He gets his teammates involved. On the other end, he defends really well. Really good off the ball and works really hard. He can guard multiple positions.”
Lawson originally was set to graduate in the 2019 class but reclassified to 2018 and that’s when Martin and company jumped in strongly on him. The Gamecocks also were helped by the fact his father grew up in South Carolina and is a Gamecock fan.
Lawson took his official visit to USC over the Memorial Day weekend and from that point the Gamecocks stood out as the team to beat.
“They really have a good plan for AJ and made us feel right at home,” said AJ’s father Anthony following the official visit. “There’s a trust factor in that the questions we asked for weeks and weeks now, if I asked them twice or three times they come back with the same thing. And meeting all the staff and sitting down together, it was a very, very good gathering. And what’s good is I’ve got family all around there.”
Lawson is the seventh signee for Martin’s 2018 class and takes the final spot on the roster for this coming season.