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Tubby Smith dealt a hard blow as two of Memphis’ top players announce plans to transfer

Tubby Smith got some rough news today as two of Memphis’ top players, Dedric and K.J. Lawson, announced plans to transfer. Dedric, a sophomore, led the team in scoring this past season, averaging 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds, while K.J., a redshirt freshman, averaged 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds. The brothers announced their intent to transfer in a release this morning.

“We are born and raised in Memphis, love the city with all our hearts,” they wrote. “However, we must do what is best for our future, our dreams, and our family, so we plan to transfer from the university. While we have enjoyed our tenure here, the time has come for us to explore some new opportunities. It is for that reason that we are asking for a release from the University of Memphis men’s basketball program. We both understand and are aware of the rules and regulations regarding this decision, and we are prepared to fully comply with them.”

KJ added more to the statement in a tweet that has since been deleted:

Well, alright then. It’s also worth noting that the Lawsons’ father, Keelon, was the team’s director of player personnel, and has resigned. Memphis now has five open scholarships, as two other players (Chad Rykhoek and Craig Randall) previously announced their intent to transfer a few weeks back.

Good luck, Tubby.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

18 Comments for Tubby Smith dealt a hard blow as two of Memphis’ top players announce plans to transfer

  1. dballrb
    2:49 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Lawson brothers in Lexington?

    • CATandMONKEY
      3:13 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      Based on the tweet, no thanks. These guys will be playing wherever their dad lands his next job.

    • RealCatsFan
      3:21 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      Yep, I agree – send that drama and prima donna attitude about 70 miles west of Lexington.

    • RealCatsFan
      3:22 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      Sounds like these two are a perfect fit for Duke. They embrace crybabies like this.

  2. Catlogic15
    3:06 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Poor Tubby. Class guy that deserves better than that.

  3. RealCatsFan
    3:24 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    As said above, Tubby is a class act, and I am grateful for what he did for UK, but those who are calling out Cal for not winning the championship more than once need to remember what it was like for the last few years of Smith’s regime. Things ain’t so bad in Lexington right this minute!

    • CatBlue in LR
      5:23 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      I’m glad we got that title in ’98, and I certainly have no animosity for Tubby, but I don’t consider him a championship coach. He just happened to be along for the ride, IMO. Players-only meeting after a Valentine’s Day loss to Ole Miss and their deciding to take over the team and play the way they knew how had more to do with the way that season ended than his ability on the bench. Remember how fortunate he got that Coach K burned through all his timeouts early. The next year lost nine games and gave up a big lead in the Elite Eight as a 2-seed against 5-seed Mich. State with a chance at an historic 4th-straight Final Four right in front of them. The year after that 10 losses — the first of three straight ten-loss seasons (hence, his nickname) including the really miserable Team Turmoil year, and then recruiting sliding steadily and precipitously after that. So, for me, it was always more than “the last few years of Smith’s regime” I had a problem with.

      Blast away — I’m sure you will.

    • catsarerunnin
      5:38 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      I won’t blast away because I agree with what you said. Ricky P. endorsed Tubby to replace him knowing full well the program would slip. Tubby won a title and I give him full credit. He just couldn’t recruit plus played a style that hurt recruiting as well. The Tubby years were frustrating. The Billy Clyde years were a total disaster. Thank goodness for Cal.

    • J-Dub421
      8:03 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      I think Tubby was a good coach, but his style of play is definitely on the boring side. He wasn’t the greatest recruiter, but also got some bad luck in recruiting. He got a commitment from a top recruit who died in high school. It was tragic, and Tubby handled a horrible situation with class.

    • RealCatsFan
      9:02 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

      Well, to be fair, if they call the foul on the 3-point shot that Sparks hit in the Mich St game, Tubby gets another FF. Also, that 2003 team looked like it could go all the way before Bogans got hurt, which severely limited his ability to guard Wade. So it is very possible that Tubby could have had 2 more FF’s, and perhaps another championship. Sometimes the ball bounces your way, and sometimes it doesn’t.

  4. ClutchCargo
    4:05 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Tubby with team turmoil? I’m shocked.

  5. JaxWildcat
    4:22 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Might be addition by subtraction from the looks of that tweet.

    • Luether
      11:01 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      Agree. They sound like a pair of entitled punks with an enabling Dad…

  6. The Professor
    5:19 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    College bball has been in a new era for some time while Tubby has remained “old school”. He is a good and honorable man but he has had trouble relating to the egos of star athletes. It just shows what a master Cal is at the psychology of getting stars to sacrifice for the team. Tubby can recruit enough second tier players to have a modicum of success and maybe make the tourney every few years but his glory days are long gone.

  7. ekywildcat
    7:32 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    They should have stayed, I read Tubby said they were going to run more next season.

  8. GroundControlToNumber9
    1:03 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    Back off and let Tubby get his players… so they can be like Georgia.

  9. tubby b smith
    8:28 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    once again the lil punk fans that hated me comes out…i may never made it back to the final 4 but i didn’t go to a nit either with nba players on my team

  10. Saul T. Nuts
    10:48 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    Cleaning house…good for Tubby