As Wake Forest heads into their next ACC battle against Georgia Tech tomorrow, (Noon, Raycom) one of the best post players in the ACC will be waiting to deliver a big time performance against the Deacs' highly-touted frontcourt. Gani Lawal, a 6'8" sophomore, hails from the same high school as Wake freshman Al-Farouq Aminu and has been a bright spot for the struggling Yellow Jackets this season. This has to be a special game for Farouq, considering the matchup against his brother, Alade, and the guy that used to drive him to school in the morning, Lawal.
Lawal is the prototypical back-to-the-basket player who is very effective when GT's guards manage to get him the ball before they throw it to the other team. He is averaging 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds (3.8 offensive), and 1.4 blocks per game. Other than dunks and layups Lawal also loves to turn and go glass, a la Tim Duncan. The one glaring weakness in Lawal's game is his free throw shooting, making them at only a 51.9% clip. In fact, he shoots better from the floor than he does from the charity stripe at 55.6%.
Tomorrow Lawal will see a number of different bodies thrown his way. Aminu, McFarland, Weaver and Woods will likely spend time in the post in an effort to wear him down as the game progresses. Farouq Aminu will likely start out defending Lawal, with Chas taking care of the taller Alade Aminu. I feel that the Deacs will have trouble against Lawal's rebounding and relentless pursuit of the ball after Clinch misses yet another shot. While Wake should be able to overcome this area of concern, Gani Lawal is definitely an underrated player in the ACC that you should keep an eye on.
And of course I have to say it - FROM THE WINNNNDDDOOOOWWWSS to LAWAL!
Thanks for being my inspiration, Lil' Jon.