Memphis Tigers hire Keelon Lawson with eye on three top recruits

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High school coach Keelon Lawson will take his coaching pedigree to the Memphis Tigers next season.

And, with any luck, his three sons - each of which are elite recruits in their own right - will follow him to Memphis in the next few years.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner announced last week that he was hiring Lawson to join his staff as an assistant coach.

Lawson has a strong coaching record, after having led Hamilton High in Memphis for the last nine seasons. He was the last coach to lead a city school to a state title, according to ESPN, while also going unbeaten in the largest classification.

Lucky Lawsons

However, Lawson's greatest asset may be his three sons. K.J. Lawson, a 6-foot-7 wing ranked 37th in the country by ESPN's polls, has already committed to Memphis.

His younger brother, Dedric Lawson is set to graduate in 2016. The 6-foot-8 power forward is, likewise, ranked seventh in the country. Chandler Lawson, still in middle school, is ranked as the top recruit in the country by at least one recruiting site.

If Memphis landed Dedric or Chandler in upcoming years, consider the money spent on their father well spent. Especially in a sport where individual stars determine the greatest part of a team's success, basically ensuring a top recruit will join the team is a major boon.

Who is likely to sign?

Dedric has been heavily recruited by both Memphis and Kentucky. But the upcoming junior and five-star recruit said previously that if his dad was hired, he probably would end up at Memphis.

After the announcement was made, Dedric announced his commitment four days later, while playing at the Peach Jam, one of the nation's top summer tournaments for high school prospects.

Of course, Memphis will also have the inside track on recruiting Chandler as well.

If the Tigers hadn't hired Keelon, it was likely that other colleges would have. There were rumors that multiple schools, including Vanderbilt according to ESPN, were speaking to the former college player about joining their coaching staff.

However, his preference was to stay at home, and with his coaching record as well as his all-star sons, it made sense for Memphis to hire him.

It is not uncommon for teams to hire parents in order to lure top recruits.

Larry Brown did with Danny Manning at Kansas, hiring his dad Ed Manning. Bill Self hired Mario Chalmers's father as well, and Texas A&M recently hired J-Mychal Reese's dad, but J-Mychal ended up transferring to North Texas.

Maybe four?

But if Memphis is really lucky, it may come out with four star recruits.

Jonathan Lawson, still in sixth grade, is the youngest of the brothers and has already shown the promise that could make him just as good as the rest of his family.

That would be quite the haul from signing one assistant coach, if Jonathan also committed to Memphis down the road.

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