Lauderdale focused on five elite programs

Dallas Lauderdale, a 6-foot-8 rebounding machine from Solon, Ohio, told at the King James Shooting Stars Classic that he's narrowed his recruitment down to five elite programs. Did the Louisville Cardinals make the cut? has the latest.

Dallas Lauderdale and the Cleveland Titans arrived late for their opening game at the King James Shooting Stars Classic Friday night, and it showed in the early going against the Connecticut Young Guns.

The Young Guns jumped out to a double-digit halftime lead, before the bigger, more talented Titans made their move in the second half to win 76-64.

"I had a bad game," Lauderdale said. "We came in late and didn't get a chance to stretch. Basically in the first half we came out with no energy. And our game is to out-run everybody because we have athletic big men and our guards are so quick. In the second half, we got our running game and fixed that problem."

Lauderdale, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Solon, Ohio, struggled to finish at the offensive end. He missed several point blank field goal attempts, and finished with just 2 points. But Lauderdale contributed in other ways, controlling the boards on both ends of the court and challenging shots on defense. Lauderdale hauled in 13 rebounds – 11 in the first half, and blocked four shots.

Dallas Lauderdale is focused on five
programs - Louisville, Ohio State, UNC,
Syracuse and Michigan.

After the game, Lauderdale discussed the status of his recruitment.

"I've narrowed it down to about five schools now," he said. "North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse, Louisville, and Michigan. I'm not really worried about recruiting right now. I'm just playing basketball. My parents are handling the recruiting process, and I'm just playing basketball right now."

Lauderdale said he's been offered scholarships by each of his five favorites. He has not visited any of the schools on that list, though he does plan to make some visits this spring.

"That's my goal," Lauderdale said. "I just want to see the campus, see the facilities, meet some of the players and coaches."

Which schools will he visit?

"Whichever one's my dad will drive me to," he said. "I don't know. They're all kind of far from home except Ohio State, which is three hours away."

Rick Pitino appears to be the big lure for the Cardinals.

"Rick Pitino is an excellent coach," said Lauderdale. "He's an NBA coach. He can help me do what I need to do to get to the NBA, which is my ultimate goal. They're all excellent programs and coaches."

Still, Lauderdale made clear he's not ready to play favorites.

"I don't have any favorites," Lauderdale said. "I'm just keeping my options open."

Lauderdale said he'd like to make a decision before his senior season starts.

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