Willard Says Lawrence Will Play Friday | Zagsblog
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Monday / May 20.
  • Willard Says Lawrence Will Play Friday

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    NEW YORK — In case there were any doubts, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said senior guard Keon Lawrence will play Friday at No. 22 Temple.

    “He’s playing,” Willard said Thursday at a coaches’ reception at Madison Square Garden that also featured Steve Lavin of St. John’s, Mike Rice of Rutgers, Dan Hurley of Wagner and John Dunne of St. Peter’s.

    The 6-foot-2 Lawrence sat out last Friday’s exhibition win over William Paterson in what was described as a “Coaches’ Decision.”

    Asked if he was counting on Lawrence to make significant contributions in the Temple game, Willard said, “Oh yeah. I think Keon’s had a very positive and progressive offseason. It’s just a matter of, he had knee surgery in July but he’s come back and he’s been working hard and he’s been playing well.”

    Willard said Aaron Geramipoor would not play in the game because of mono, but that freshman Anali Okoloji could play. Both players also sat out the exhibition.

    “Aaron still has a very bad case of mono,” Willard said. “He’s actually still in the hospital.

    “And Anali will be playing.”

    Junior forward Herb Pope is still getting back into shape after recovering from heart surgery in the wake of his collapse, but Willard expects him to contribute as well. How many minutes he plays is up in the air.

    “[It depends on] as the game goes on, how it goes, how the games developing, how he’s playing,” Willard said.

    Willard declined to name his starting lineup for the Temple game, but the core of the team includes Pope, Jeremy Hazell, Jeff Robinson and Jordan Theodore.

    “I can’t give away my starting lineup,” Willard said. “[Temple coach] Fran Dunphy doesn’t know it.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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