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'Student of the game,' Kansas' Dedric Lawson abandons Netflix for now, gears for Baylor game

Gary Bedore, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Basketball

Dedric Lawson's late-night TV and internet viewing habits have changed the past couple weeks in his McCarthy Hall apartment on Kansas' campus.

"I ran out of shows on Netflix," Lawson, KU's 6-foot-9 junior power forward from Memphis, said with a smile.

So, since scoring a mere eight points against Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29, 13 points against Oklahoma on Jan. 2 and 13 more versus Iowa State on Jan. 5, Lawson has immersed himself in films of himself -- and films of other college basketball players and teams -- rather than review any Hollywood releases.

"Like on our iPads ... I stay up late and watch (tapes)," Lawson said. "I see where the guys on defense are coming from, just different reads. It's definitely something I like to do, to break down the game, try to be a student of the game. I watch the way the guys on other teams are guarded. I try to evaluate it like that, too."

Lawson -- he has said he's the type of person who goes to bed late and gets up early -- believes working overtime on his game is paying off.

He scored 31 points on 10-of-19 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds in KU's 77-68 victory over TCU on Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse. Lawson -- he averages a team-leading 19.8 points a game on 50 percent shooting -- hit 13 of 36 shots (.361) during the three previous games.

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He's hoping to have busted a mini-scoring drought heading into Saturday's Big 12 battle between the No. 7-ranked Jayhawks (13-2, 2-1) and unranked Baylor Bears (9-5, 1-1) in Waco, Texas.

"I saw (on film) Iowa State and Oklahoma double-teamed me a lot. I tried to get as close to the basket as possible," Lawson said of strategy for the TCU game. "I tried to get into my moves quicker -- before the defense comes. When they (Horned Frogs) double-teamed, I tried to find the right teammate, tried to play basketball the right way," he added.

Lawson realizes his performance could be a huge factor in determining KU's fate in the Big 12 race and the postseason. KU has lost a dominant big in Udoka Azubuike to a season-ending hand injury.

KU, which is vying for a 15th straight Big 12 title, is 1-1 since Azubuike tore a ligament in his right hand at practice the day before the Iowa State game.

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