Thoughts on the A.J. Lawson Departure

Sophomore Forward A.J. Lawson Will Transfer From the UNT Mens Basketball Program.

AJ is a scorer and his style and game just didn’t fit with what North Texas was trying to move to.  Lawson saw his playing time, and shot opportunities go down during the CBI run. If you look back during the season Lawson was a key piece to UNT winning games. Lawson was used on 24% of the possessions and took 23.1% of the shots when on the floor. His usage was second on the team to Roosevelt Smart.  During the CBI Tournament Lawson only averaged 13.5 mins per game. Compare that to the 26.4 mins per game he was averaging during CUSA play.  Lawson did play key minutes in the final game of the CBI Championship Series. UNT wouldn’t have won that game without him.UNT is going to miss his toughness and defense, no doubt. Lawson’s offense was hampered by the wrist injury during the season. He never had the mid range or long range shot that made defenses worry. Lawson did have the ability to get to the rim. There were times during game when Lawson took questionable shots both inside paint and beyond the arc.

I think the departure is good for both parties. Lawson needs a fresh start and an offseason to get healthy.  UNT needed the extra scholarship to upgrade their athleticism on the wings.  North Texas wants to feature a 4 guard lineup, and they need more athletic 6-6, 6-7, dudes who can play 1-4. Guys that can shoot outside, and defend every position. Lawson was a 4 who didn’t really threaten defenses from the outside.  Look what happened when Miller was inserted into the lineup and made outside shots at the 4 spot. It took a lot of pressure off Ryan Woolridge and opened the offense up.

If you are a UNT fan you have wish AJ the best. He stuck it out this season when he could’ve packed it in after the injury. Hell AJ probably could’ve transferred before the season if he wanted too. I know I have a ton of respect for him as a player and a person. I hope he lands at a good situation, and has plenty of success.