The Arizona State men’s basketball team will have a distinctively different look to it with 10 newcomers next season.
But there will be a familiar face too as senior forward Kimani Lawrence has decided to return for a repeat senior season. The NCAA granted the seniors the opportunity to return due to the unusual season which resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.
The 6-foot-8 native of Rhode Island will be one of just three returning scholarship players, the others being sophomore forward Jalen Graham and reserve sophomore guard Caleb Christopher.
Lawrence averaged 8.1 points and five rebounds in 23 games, 15 of which he started. Lawrence blossomed late in the season when the Sun Devils were decimated by injuries.
He chalked up 22 points and 12 rebounds in a home win against Washington and then followed that up by a 21-point, 20-rebound performance against the same team later in the week. It marked the first 20-20 game for an ASU player since Michael Batiste accomplished the feat in 1997.
Among his other stellar games was an 18-point, nine-rebound effort in an 80-79 loss at UCLA on Feb. 20.
Lawrence will be the most veteran player on the squad, heading into his fifth year and with 53 career starts. He had 23 of those starts in the 2019-2020 season as a junior.
The Sun Devils will have four Division I transfers and five high school recruits new in the fold. The other addition is that of Luther Mohammed, who came to ASU a year ago from Ohio State but redshirted after shoulder surgery.
Since Lawrence is a returning senior he will not count against the 13-player scholarship limit. ASU has one scholarship left if freshman forward Marcus Bagley stays in the NBA draft as expected.