SALT LAKE CITY (WIBW) -- Kansas forward Dedric Lawson has been the core of the Jayhawks for most of the season.
Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) celebrates after scoring a three-point basket against Northeastern in the first half during a first round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
That didn't change in the redshirt junior's March Madness debut, where he notched 25 points and 11 rebounds for his 21st double-double of the season.
"It definitely hit last night," Lawson said. "Just watching a couple of the bubble games and things like that. I knew I'd be in the moment. And I just wanted to be out there and be aggressive."
Lawson started off strong in KU's first-round matchup with No. 13 Northeastern, going into the half with 16 points. His teammates knew early on the game was his to take over.
"Right when he started off and he was hitting and knocked down two three's kind of early in the first half," said Devon Dotson. "Once he gets going like that, it's hard to stop him."
"First media timeout, I think he had like five or seven," said Ochai Agbaji. "I knew this was gonna be the game that he could take over and cause havoc."
But Dedric wasn't the only Lawson who showed up and showed out. His brother K.J. Lawson dropped 13 points and also said No. 1's latest performance is pure Dedric.
"He has the capability to do that every night," K.J. said. "Whether he wants to or not, he can do it. He can do it effortless, he can do it loud. He can go out there and destroy on offense, inside and out, especially when he stretches the floor and knocks down the three's. Inside, he's a load too because he can pass so good.
"When he's playing at a high caliber, that's when our team rolls."
On top of the Lawson brothers' hot shooting, the Jayhawks also recorded 50 points in the paint.
Northeastern's 53 points scored tied a season low for a Kansas opponent, and marked the least amount of points KU has given up in an NCAA Tournament game since 2012.