University of Kansas

Several Jayhawks could leave for NBA: ‘I haven’t talked to any of my guys,’ Self says

Dedric Lawson breaks down, blames himself after KU’s loss to Auburn

Kansas junior forward Dedric Lawson breaks down, blames himself after KU's 89-75 loss to Auburn on March 23, 2019.
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Kansas junior forward Dedric Lawson breaks down, blames himself after KU's 89-75 loss to Auburn on March 23, 2019.

Bill Self realizes some of his Kansas Jayhawks played the last game of their college careers on Saturday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

“Well, obviously there’s Doke (Udoka Azubuike) and Dedric (Lawson) and Silvio (De Sousa) are all questions for next year and certainly maybe other players as well, which we are used to dealing with that. That’s OK,” Self, KU’s 16th-year coach said after the Jayhawks’ 89-75 second-round NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional loss to Auburn.

“I haven’t talked to any of my guys about what they want to do moving forward. I never do that during the season,” Self added, referring to whether players will turn pro or return to KU for another season. “We’ll have some conversations what direction they want to go. If they do (want to test the NBA Draft waters) ... I’ll support whatever they decide they want to do.”

Asked about his future plans, Memphis junior transfer Dedric Lawson, the leading scorer and rebounder in the Big 12, said, “We just lost by 20 (points). I’m not thinking about that now.”

Self noted that Lawson “has got to make some decisions. He’s had as good a year as we could ever have hoped for. I don’t know that we’ve ever ridden a guy — maybe Thomas Robinson — but he’d be the only guy we would have ridden as hard as Dedric. And you wouldn’t have to if you had your full complement of guys obviously. But he’s our best passer and you lose Doke (to injury early in season), so you take away the guy that he can pass it to, which really kind of minimizes his skill set a lot because he is a terrific passer. I thought he improved. He scored the ball. He put up numbers almost every night.”

Lawson’s brother K.J., who is graduating in May and getting married this summer, recently said he wanted to continue his college basketball career. He didn’t say where.

On Saturday K.J. said of his plans: “I don’t know. We just lost. I’m focusing on that.”

Freshman guard Quentin Grimes, who attended college as someone considered an almost certain one-and-done player, said: “I’m not thinking about that now, just thinking about this team now and reflecting on the season, how we didn’t finish out the season well.”

He said he “had no decision.”

Sophomore De Sousa, who has appealed a suspension that as it stands will keep him sidelined next season, and junior forward Azubuike, told The Star that they would not be speaking to reporters Saturday night.

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