Lauderdale Still Thinking Four

TRENTON, N.J. - The Prime Time Shootout didn't go exactly how Dallas Lauderdale and Solon planned. Nonetheless, we caught up with the 6-foot-8 junior and captured his thoughts on his game and his recruitment.

Solon (Ohio) High and Haddonfield (N.J.), two teams on strong winning streaks, met last weekend at the snowed-in Prime Time Shootout. When it was all over, Haddonfield was victorious, 59-47, handing Solon its first loss of the season.

The match up was a chance for onlookers to watch two big men – senior Brian Zoubek and junior Dallas Lauderdale – trade paint. The elder Zoubek did most of the teaching as he hit up Solon for 22 points and 14 rebounds. Lauderdale, who had his worst shooting game of the season (1-for-11) was held in check with 4 points and 5 rebounds.

Regardless of the outcome, Lauderdale who spoke with before the game, knows there are elements in his game he'd like to advance.

"I've been trying to be in the weight room, work on my perimeter game and no aspect of my game is perfect right now," Lauderdale said. "I need to work on everything – defensively, offensively, weight room strength and mentally."

In Zoubek, Lauderdale could have been watching a mirror-image of what he'd like to see of himself during his senior campaign. The Duke-bound senior has his state title and consistent and dominating efforts are coming out of Haddonfield on a regular basis. Lauderdale is striving to achieve the same.

"Because I'm watching what the next level is about, college and all that, I'm seeing what I have to do to get prepared in high school for college. That's work hard and dominate. Big men dominate in college."

Prior to the Haddonfield contest, Lauderdale had been playing strong. One game this year he had 32 points and 16 rebounds. He reached the 10-block mark in another contest. The center feels like athleticism is the strongest part of his game.

"I hear a lot of people telling me and I see it myself but for me to be my size, I'm pretty athletic playing against other 6-9's. When I actually want to run – sometimes I'm lazy – but when I do want to run I can be one of the fastest guys on the court."

Unlike other juniors who have rushed into commitments, Lauderdale hasn't been too fast with his recruitment. At one time rumors circulated about a possible verbal to Ohio State. Not so fast says the big fella.

"Rumors. I visited a place and maybe that's where they got it from because Ohio State is the only place where I've been to an actual game but I'm not leaning anywhere yet."

Lauderdale cited OSU, Louisville, Syracuse and North Carolina as schools showing interest. He said that Syracuse and Louisville have offered this season (UNC has not).

While others rush to decide, Lauderdale says he's not in a hurry. "I think maybe they're seeing the seniors commit and they want to be a part of that real soon before the scholarships getting taken away. Me, personally, I'm taking my time. I'm not ready to make a decision and I'm not ready to rule anybody out."

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