Kansas Jayhawks To Play In Italy Without Dedric Lawson

Credit AP

By Ryan Touhey,

Every four years, the NCAA chooses a team to travel abroad and play in a foreign exhibition tour. This year, the Kansas Jayhawks were chosen and will go to Europe to play four exhibition games in Italy. Two will be played in Rome and two will be played in Milan.

Dave Skretta of the Associated Press stated that in addition to the journey abroad for the players, the team has the opportunity of practicing up to 10 times in order to get themselves ready.

Kansas head coach Bill Self gave a long comment to The Press. He said, “I’ll be in a good mood the entire time, so I can’t imagine the players not having a good time and enjoying themselves. Even though we are going there to play ball, it’s also kind of a reward trip. So hopefully we’ll go over there and get a little bit better basketball-wise, but most of getting better basketball-wise is going to take place here, in Lawrence.”

The Jayhawks will be going across the Atlantic without some of their key players from their previous season. Frank Mason III and Landan Lucas graduated, and Josh Jackson was drafted to play in the NBA.

In addition to losing players that contributed to the previous season, head coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks have also announced that they’ve suspended Memphis transfer forward Dedric Lawson from the tournament. According to Matt Galloway of the Topeka Capital-Journal, the reason for the suspension was due to “an altercation” at a team practice.

Galloway stated that Self said that Lawson did not handle the situation well and this suspension from the tournament will serve as his punishment. Despite this, Self said that he does not expect this setback to affect Lawson’s mentality.

“Don’t get me wrong: He’s on the team, he’s in school, he’ll be here whenever school starts and all that. But he’s aware he didn’t handle the situation well,” said Self.

Because he’s a transfer student, Lawson must sit out the entire 2017-18 season. Without the exhibition games under his belt, it’s unlikely the Jayhawks will see Lawson in much action this season.

Galloway also stated that Lawson’s brother, K.J. Lawson, who also transferred himself during the offseason to Kansas, will be attending the trip with the team.

Lawson is a 6-8 guard-forward from Memphis, TN. In his previous two years at Memphis, Lawson played a total of 65 games, averaged six field goals per game out of 14.1 field goal attempts, and played an averaged of 33.3 minutes.

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