Lawrence Fills Gardner's Role
Lawrence had a career-high 27 points, draining seven 3-pointers, in that first game.
"It's just like, 'Man is he going to miss?' Everything from outside was going in, everything. It got to a point somebody screened and he was about where Norm Stewart [signature on the court] is and he was just all net, all net," said teammate Keon Lawrence.
Matt added, "I guess the best moment there was when coach took me out and the fans gave me a nice round of applause. That always means a lot to me."
It doesn't take long to figure out the secret to Matt's outside success is his quick release.
"It just means I need less time to get it cocked and loaded," he explained.
"You just see him catch it and flip it up there so fast. You try to block it, but it's too hard. It's gone already," added Keon.
"I worked on getting passes, here up high 'cause you never know where you're going to get the ball," said Matt.
That hard work has paid off, as he is second on the team in scoring while hitting almost half of his 3-point attempts.
"This year it's just like he broke out. He can just shoot the ball. If you leave him open, you know it's going in. It's crazy, I haven't seen anyone like it," said junior Kalen Grimes.
Matt explained, "I took a lot of Spanish, so I call it 'en fuego', on fire. I don't like to say that to anybody 'cause they might make fun of me. It feels good. It feels like, if they find you anywhere on the court, you're going to knock it down."
Matt and Keon said they have more in common than their last name and a smooth shot from behind the arc.
"His mother came out with him first. It was twins, and then I came out. You know, I've been in the sun a little too much," said Keon.
Matt added, "I like the Lawrence Brothers thing because anywhere we go around campus I'm like, 'This is my brother, Keon Lawrence.'"
Matt Lawrence attended Lafayette High School in Saint Louis, the same school where Ryan Howard, the 2006 National League Most Valuable Player, also played basketball.