Lawrence McKenzie is one of those players you immediately recognize on the court. He usually has the rock in his hands and is trying to make something happen offensively. Lawrence is also usually in the middle of a defensive turnover. He has quick hands and good anticipation. It was because of these skills that McKenzie was offered and accepted a scholarship from Oklahoma.
There had been some rumblings in the recruiting underground that McKenzie was looking elsewhere but he put down that theory. "I am all set for Oklahoma," said
McKenzie, a 6-3, 170-pounder from Henry High School in Minnesota.
"Oklahoma has a great program, a chance to win it all. They have great players coming back. I can't wait to play for them."
McKenzie had a good summer. RivalsHoops.com watched him play several times. Here are some roundups from just a few games we watched in person:
McKenzie scored 20 points, including five three-pointers against the team from the state of Alabama. But his team lost 84-81. In a 72-62 loss to the eventual champions, New York Elite, McKenzie scored 16 points.
Team Minnesota also lost to the Baltimore Select. This was a matchup against one of the best point guards in 2003 in Tyler Smith. McKenzie scored 18 points, including three three-pointers.
Team Minnesota did capture a win over the Houston Superstars (Tyrone Nelson, Lanny Smith, and Michael Umeh), 72-67. McKenzie scored 13 points in the win.
What McKenzie showed was the willingness to take the big shots and also the ability to knock down some long distance range jumpers.
At the ABCD camp, McKenzie hit over 50 percent from behind the three-point line. He shot 26 of 50 from behind the arc. McKenzie though didn't overextend himself offensively like so many guards did at this camp. He ran the show, got his teammates involved, and scored within the flow of the game. McKenzie also had two assists for every half of a turnover.
Lawrence averaged 14 points and nine assists last season as a junior. "I am going to work on all parts of my game," McKenzie said. "My season starts in November. So I am just getting myself ready."
McKenzie was also offered by UNLV, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Nebraska before he committed to Oklahoma. McKenzie told us he has also qualified academically. "I got a 19 on the ACT but I want to go back and improve the score," McKenzie said. "So I will take it again."