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October 23, 2013Days after landing his offer, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood small forward Anthony Lawrence has joined UCF's 2015 basketball recruiting class.
Florida, Florida State, Miami were heavily recruiting the versatile 6-foot-5 athlete and he had previously picked up offers from Clemson, Texas A&M, FIU and Louisiana Tech.
His visit to UCF last Saturday for "Blacktop Madness" set the wheels in motion for him to become the third member of the class.
"I was offered that day," Lawrence said. "I kind of knew they were going to offer because a lot of people had told my dad."
His dad, Lakewood head coach Anthony Lawrence, Sr., starred at the University of Miami in the early 1990s.
"I just loved it at UCF," Lawrence said. "I didn't know the campus was that great. I'd been there before, but just to the gym."
Lawrence and his dad spent the entire day on campus.
"We first got the tour of the whole school on the golf cart," he said. "Then we sat in Coach (Donnie) Jones' office for like an hour. He put everything on the board and just told me how I can contribute to the team. He said my role would be playing multiple positions. He doesn't want to take anything away from my game. If we had more time we probably would have talked even more. It was almost 7 o'clock so we had to head over to the Blacktop Madness."
Lawrence, who averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and four steals as a sophomore, said Jones compared him to current UCF standout Tristan Spurlock.
At that point, Lawrence said he was sold and ready to commit, but his dad suggested he think about it for a few days to make sure it was the right decision.
He's already good friends with 2014 UCF commit Adonys Henriquez and fellow 2015 pledges Chad Brown and Alex Owens, who were encouraging him that day to come on board.
"Adonys and all them were telling me to commit at the game," Lawrence said. "I told them I'd let them know when I do. They were really trying to get me to commit. We're all real cool. Me and Alex played AAU. Chad, we're real tight also."
As for the event itself, Lawrence said he loved seeing UCF's new black court.
"I had seen it on Instagram because Chad Brown had put a picture on there, but this was my first time seeing it in person," Lawrence said. "I love it. It's real nice."
The commitment took place earlier today when Jones paid a visit to Lakewood for an open gym.
"It was great," Lawrence said. "We sat down in the office and we talked for a little bit. He asked my dad how he liked UCF, then my dad looked at me and said, 'What do you want to do?' My dad wanted me to commit also."
What put the Knights on top?
"I just love the coaching staff at UCF and their style of play really fits my game," Lawrence said. "The campus is crazy."
Lawrence said already being close with his future teammates will make a huge difference when they're all on the same court in 2015-16.
"We know each other already, so it's going to be an even better bond," he said. "We're all looking to win a championship."
Lawrence called his commitment "solid" and said he plans to attend "a lot" of UCF basketball games this upcoming season, which will be the program's inaugural year in the American.