Kashrell Lawrence is one of the most popular faces on the Dalhousie campus. The charismatic 21 year-old forward was a dominant force for the Tigers basketball team last season, ending the first half of the season in the top three in scoring in the AUS.
He cooled off slightly in the second half, but still finished second in scoring for the Tigers with 12.9 points per game. The spark that Lawrence provided helped him earn a bigger role with the Tigers this past season, as his minutes increased and the team leaned on him more in crucial moments in tight games.
As he enters his third season, Kashrell will now be a veteran presence on a very young Tigers squad who will look to him for leadership.
"Being one of the older players on the team, my role as a leader will continue to increase this upcoming year," says Lawrence.
This added pressure will mean a more intense off season for Lawrence, who is already an amazing athlete. He's always worked hard in past years, but according to him this summer is different.
"This off season is different," notes Lawrence. "Other than working out and doing my regular skills training, I'm taking my diet a lot more seriously and I'm mixing things up doing other activities like soccer and swimming."
Though dominant in stretches, Lawrence was susceptible to committing turnovers and knows that he'll have to work hard to help his team in clutch situations.
"I've been working on my ball handling more than anything this spring," says Lawrence. "The team needs me to be more comfortable in pressure situations."
Lawrence has the potential to be one of the most explosive and valuable players in the AUS, and the Tigers could certainly use some leadership as they try and dig themselves out of the AUS basement.
They will try to right the ship after a rocky first season under first-year head coach Rick Plato. Lawrence says although it took players some time to get used to the coaching change, the players have now gotten used to Plato's coaching style.
"The upcoming year with Coach Plato will be a good one. We are all excited and confident going into next season. We've had the time to get used to him and he got used to us and we know what he expects from us going forward."
When training camp begins in late August, you can bet your bottom dollar that Lawrence will be hungry, looking to cement his spot as a star in the AUS in his third year.