Lawrence improves as a defender

By Azariah Long

After practice earlier in his college career, Daylan Lawrence challenged an older member of the team to a dunk contest.

The six foot, four inch Lawrence proceeded to drive baseline and execute a clean windmill dunk.

Lawrence, now a senior, was known for his offensive ability coming out of high school.

He has improved his defense during his time at Cal Poly Pomona.

Last year, Lawrence had a breakout season.

He played in every game and averaged 5.3 points per game, 36 percent shooting and 27 steals.

All improvements from his first two seasons.

Lawrence was a one-way player at Rancho Cucamonga High School where he averaged 21.5 points per game.

In his first year, he struggled to learn the team’s zone defense. According to teammate and fifth-year senior guard Quentin Taylor, Lawrence improved on understanding the defense and knowing where he needs to be.

“I was surprised with his effort on defense because his high school was not known for their defense,” coach Greg Kamansky said.

“I was shocked about how competitive his nature was, but his knowledge of the game is what has gotten better.”

Kamansky plans to play Lawrence at center this season for the first time in his career.

Lawrence’s versatility means he can also fill in at any position in Kamansky’s zone defense.

Kamansky pointed to Lawrence’s improvement in taking charges, getting steals, rebounding and blocking as part of his development as a player.

If he is at center, he takes a charge if a player drives baseline.

Lawrence always stays one step ahead of the opposing player on every play.

“I don’t want to get yelled at for allowing someone scoring on my side, and if someone does, I want to make sure that it won’t happen again,” said Lawrence.

Whenever he plays defense, he does not allow the players to go past him, he tries to step in front and force them to go baseline.

When Lawrence came to Cal Poly Pomona, he paid attention and learned from former CPP guard and assistant coach Barry Bell.

“I think Barry was one best defenders that I have ever seen play, but I just want to be good at defense here,” Lawrence said.

The Broncos last won a national championship since 2010, but Lawrence hopes to give the Broncos another championship before he graduates.

Daylan Lawrence has steadily improved as a defender in his four years at Cal Poly Pomona

Courtesy of CPP Sports Information

Daylan Lawrence has steadily improved as a defender in his four years at Cal Poly Pomona

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