Miami has an embarrassment of riches in their backcourt, with a couple big names in Ja’Quan Newton, Bruce Brown, and incoming wunderkind Lonnie Walker IV. The Canes, however, have other players capable of leading the team to new heights. Enter Anthony Lawrence II, a 6’7” 210 lb wing ready to step into his role as one of the tone-setters on the floor this season.
Lawrence (or Amp as he prefers to be called) has logged plenty of minutes during his first two seasons in Coral Gables. The Junior out of Lakewood Senior in St. Petersburg, Fla, played in every game his freshman year and started 18 games last year. Amp definitely fits into the mold at Miami as a long, athletic wing that does a little bit of everything. He was 5th on the team in scoring at 6.8 points per game, 4th in rebounding at 3.8 per game, 4th in assists, 3rd in steals, and 5th in blocks. Lawrence was the Canes second best shooter from 3, hitting 35% of his shots behind the arc. A guard with that kind of size, who can affect a game in that many ways is truly a useful weapon in your arsenal.
Let’s take a look at one of Amp’s better games from last season, 11/24/16 vs Stanford in the Advocare Invitational:
Amp finished with 18 points on 6 of 9 shooting, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds in only 24 minutes. He was perfect in the paint and hit 3 of 6 threes. Not only was Lawrence super efficient in that game, but you could see him start to develop a little mean streak that totally turned the momentum of the game in Miami’s favor. Speaking of mean streaks:
I just had to throw that in there. Tacko Fall is lucky they let him stay in the gym after that one. Back to the Stanford game, you can see Lawrence raining threes from deep, jumping into passing lanes, running the break, finishing inside through contact, taking defenders off of the dribble, and picking the pocket of Stanford’s point guard. If you told me any player was accomplishing all of that in one game, I would expect them to be the dominant focal point of that team. But that doesn't really describe Amp. He’s served the Hurricanes well as an adaptable piece that fits in wherever needed. He can score inside and out, and he can guard the 1 all the way through the 4. Where Lawrence can take the next step for this team is with consistency. Someone who should be a matchup nightmare on offense, as well as a capable defender on defense should be able to produce a little more on a nightly basis. He improved in almost every category from his freshman season to last year, so there should be no doubt that Amp is capable of upping those numbers again. He got off to a solid start in Miami’s exhibition game against Newberry last Wednesday, coming away with 6 points on 2 of 2 from deep, 6 rebounds and 8(!) assists. It looks like Bruce Brown isn’t the only triple-double threat in Coral Gables. I’m looking forward to watching Amp Lawrence rise to the occasion for this talented Canes squad.