Solon's Lauderdale Already A Big Time Prospect

6-9 junior Dallas Lauderdale of Solon, Ohio has only played two seasons of high school basketball but is already among the state's most coveted prospects. While at the recent OSU team camp, Lauderdale took some time to speak about where things stand with recruiting and his exact thoughts on Ohio State. Read on for more.

One of the most impressive prospects at Ohio State's team camp this past weekend was Solon, Ohio, power forward/center Dallas Lauderdale.

The 6-9 Lauderdale will be a junior this season. He returns after leading Solon to a 25-1 record and a berth in a Division I regional final. Only a 53-52 loss to Mansfield Senior prevented Solon from reaching the state final four.

Lauderdale earned first-team All-Ohio and Northeast Lakes District player of the year honors after averaging 17.5 points, 13 rebounds and 4.8 blocks per game.

"I feel a repeat coming," Lauderdale said. "We lost one of our best shooters in Jordan Krantz. But we have some people to pick up that slack.

"Right now, I'm just getting acquainted with my teammates," Lauderdale said. "We have a couple of people moving in and some guys moving up to the varsity. I think we can be pretty good."

Recruiting experts have taken notice of Lauderdale. He is ranked as the state's third-best junior-to-be by Ohio High magazine, falling in just behind the North College Hill duo of O.J. Mayo and Billy Walker. Lauderdale is also ranked as the nation's 40th-best junior-to-be by

"I don't pay attention to that," Lauderdale said. "People come to me every day and say I'm good and talk about where I'm ranked and all that. I don't pay attention to any of that. I just play basketball."

Lauderdale works hard to get the ball in the post, but he is also a high-effort guy on the glass. At the team camp, he routinely skied to finish plays around the rim.

"I always try to work hard," Lauderdale said. "Respect everybody but fear nobody. I just play basketball."

As far as the college level, Lauderdale said, "I'm trying to work on my outside game. I think about the NBA. I look at T-Mac (Tracy McGrady). He's 6-8 and playing the two-guard in the NBA. I'm 6-9. If I'm 6-9, I would be a small post in the NBA. That's why I know I have to work on my jump shot. I think I have my post game down."

Lauderdale also plays for the Cleveland Titans AAU team.

"I know we will be playing at nationals in Orlando in July," he said. "I don't know about individual camps and where I might be going. I've been invited to everything."

In terms of colleges, Lauderdale listed a top five of Ohio State, Syracuse, North Carolina, Illinois and Michigan State.

"The schools I have spoken with have offered, like O-State and Syracuse," he said. "I've gotten a lot of letters from a lot of places, including Kentucky and Duke."

Lauderdale said OSU coach Thad Matta and his staff offered him a scholarship shortly after coming to Columbus last July – that would have been after Lauderdale's freshman year at Solon.

"Right then, it was overwhelming," Lauderdale said. "I wasn't expecting anything. I was only going to be a sophomore. I've seen them develop very quickly here. I think O-State will be pretty good in a couple of years.

"They picked up (Dayton Dunbar's) Daequan (Cook) and also my good friend (and AAU teammate) David Lighty. I see them winning a national championship. I'd like to be a part of that, of course."

OSU's recruitment of Indiana 7-foot center Greg Oden, the nation's top senior-to-be, may impact Lauderdale.

"If he comes here, he would be the five probably," Lauderdale said. "I know they also have (a verbal from) B.J. Mullens. Maybe he would play the four. I could play the three if I come here, but then you have David and Daequan, so I don't know exactly where I would be."

Regarding Syracuse, Lauderdale said, "I like the coaching staff. One of my friends told me they have an excellent communications program. That's what I'm thinking about majoring in right now. I just like the gym and everything. It's huge in the (Carrier Dome). I fell in love with that the first time I played on it."

Lauderdale lists a 3.0 GPA.

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