Things seemingly change in a hurry for Jacob Lawson.
The Purdue sophomore forward posted on his Twitter account yesterday that he had “Just got done Ballin with the team!!” Less than 24 hours later, he had no team to be “ballin” with.
Boilermaker coach Matt Painter issued a statement late Friday evening stating that Lawson had requested and been granted his release from the Purdue program.
“We enjoyed having Jacob as a member of our program for two years,” Painter said. “He's a quality young man and we wish him the best moving forward.”
It was the second Boilermaker player in as many days that had chosen to leave the program. Redshirt senior center Sandi Marcius was granted his release on Thursday.
For those that followed Purdue this season - particularly the second half - Lawson's exit was hardly surprising. However, the expediency of his demise certainly was.
On Jan. 2, Purdue upset a 13-1 Illinois squad 68-61, which ultimately ended up being the Boilermakers' most impressive win of the season, and Lawson played a significant role in the victory.
The 6-foot-8 forward started the game and played 22 minutes, finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds. Over Purdue's next 21 games, he'd total just nine points and eight boards.
Lawson started 10 games this past season and played in 28 altogether. However, on six different occasions, he never got into the game.
“He got beat out,” Painter said following his team's loss to Nebraska in the Big 10 Conference Tournament last month. “It's real simple.”
Painter spoke on many occasions about certain players lacking focus, discipline and work ethic, and over the course of the season, it was clear which players continued to work hard through adverse situations in the disappointing season, and which ones did not.
Freshman Rapheal Davis did.
“Rapheal Davis beat out all those guys,” Painter said. “He's not a traditional four. Rapheal Davis shows up every single day, he comes early, he stays late, he works on his game, and he watches extra film. I'm going to migrate to those guys.
“I'm not going to migrate to guys that come in, when practice is at 3 o'clock, right at 3 and it ends at 5:30, they leave right at 5:30. I'm always going to be that way.
I tell my recruits, if you work on your game and you care and you love it, I'm your guy. If you go through the motions or whatever, I'm not your guy.”
Lawson played in 58 games for the Boilermakers and finished his career in West Lafayette with averages of 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest.
“I think that's what it comes down to,” Painter said. “I don't trust guys that I don't see. You live in that gym, I start to trust you. I think that's an important thing in college basketball. Period.”
Along with Davis, Painter will rely on redshirt freshman Jay Simpson, incoming freshman Basil Smotherman and redshirt sophomore Donnie Hale at the power forward spot next season.