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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 5

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED OLUME 26, ISSUE 5 72 BY KYLE CHARTERS D ani Lawson doesn't have the appearance of a typical press-breaker. The longtime Purdue commitment is 6-foot-2, with a powerful post player's body, yet it's her perimeter skills within that frame that make her so valuable. That versatility has continually proven to be a valuable weapon during her high school career at Hathaway Brown near Cleveland. A few times the last couple years, Lawson has been pressed into playing guard due to teammates' injuries, some at the point as a sophomore, then as a press-breaking for- ward as a junior. "People were shocked, because it's not all the time that you see a 6-2 post player dribbling the ball up," Lawson said. "But I think our coaches like it a lot because it's kind of a night- mare matchup, with someone who is 6-2 and can dribble the ball but also back you down in the post." That's the strength of Law- son's game. As a junior last season at Hathaway Brown, which was a division champion and state semifinalist, Lawson averaged about 14.5 points, 13 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.3 steals per game. But it was some of what she did aside from the statistics that might be most impressive. After Hatha- way Brown lost starting forward Christina Passerell to an ACL injury early in the year, Lawson had to pick up some of her teammate's duties. That included helping to break opponents' full-court pressure de- fense, and she was exceedingly good at it. "I've seen some kids who can handle the ball at 6-2, but her instincts to be able to break a press were what really impressed me," Hathaway Brown coach Michael Coreno said. "Sometimes, you get a kid who is 6-2 and they can put the ball on the floor a little bit but it's five dribbles then get it to a guard. Dani can actually catch the ball at the three-point line, if we're being pressed in a full-court situation, and go across the half- court line and get into the offense. "Near the end of the year, we played Can- ton-McKinley, a D-I (big) school up in northeast Ohio, and they start pressing right when you walk in the gym. And I told Dani, 'Listen, their guards are small and quick and it's going to be easy for us to throw it over the top and get it to you, but don't turn and throw it to the next person because that person gets trapped. I want you to break the doggone thing.' "And I think she had a 20-and- 12 game vs. a team like that. … Those are the things that impress me, because she has a point guard men- tality at 6-2." Purdue was intrigued by the same, so much so that Sharon Versyp and Co. offered Lawson — she's the daughter W O M E N ' S B A S K E T B A L L R E C R U I T I N G 'A Nightmare Matchup' Lawson's guard-like skills give opponents fits

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