The recruits keep coming for the Missouri men’s basketball program.
Even though the program might receive penalties for NCAA violations, Matt Lawrence, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound shooting guard from Ballwin, orally committed to play for Missouri beginning in 2005.
Dave Porter, Lawrence’s high school coach, confirmed Lawrence’s decision Tuesday and said Missouri always was Lawrence’s No. 1 choice.
“The bottom line is that his No. 1 choice of school offered him earlier than everybody else,” Porter said.
Porter also said the NCAA investigation doesn’t bother Lawrence too much because of the coaching staff’s open discussions about it.
“He’s comfortable with the direction that they’re going and with the honesty (the Lawrence family has) gotten in the discussion about everything,” Porter said.
MU will send its report to the NCAA Infractions Committee by Thursday in response to the Letter of Allegations, which Missouri received May 7.
Lawrence, who has one more season at Lafayette High, averaged 16.4 points in his junior season, making 58 percent of his field goals. Lawrence made a team-best 43 3-pointers, shooting 41 percent.
He played a large role in the team’s 28-4 season, which included a trip to the semifinal round of the state playoffs.
In the 72-57 loss to eventual champion Poplar Bluff, Lawrence had 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Lawrence also made all five of his 3-pointers.
Porter said Lawrence, who shot 84 percent from the foul line during the season, probably could have scored more but elected to get his teammates involved.
“You can go on and on (about Lawrence),” Porter said. “He was a 27 on the ACT and an honor student. He just brings an awful lot of things to the table.”
With the early decision about where to attend college, Lawrence does not need to concern himself with recruiting and can continue to develop his basketball ability, which Porter said has a high ceiling.
“He’s got a great upside about improving and getting stronger and better,” Porter said.
— S. SCOTT ROSENBERG
MAVERICKS: The River City Rascals defeated the Mavs 14-4 in O’Fallon.
The Rascals (21-15) scored four in the first inning.
The Mavericks fell to 5-33.