Ohio State Basketball: Dallas Lauderdale Out Four to Six Weeks

Patrick NobbeContributor IOctober 14, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 13:  Dallas Lauderdale #52 of the Ohio State Buckeyes smiles on court against the Wisconsin Badgers  during the second round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 13, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Ohio State starting center Dallas Lauderdale broke a bone is his right hand during a workout Monday, four days before the beginning of training camp.  Lauderdale, who shared time at center with BJ Mullens last season, will have surgery Wednesday and will be out four to six weeks.

The Buckeyes return all five starters from last season’s team, which lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and looks to start the season strong with marquee matchups against North Carolina and either Syracuse or California in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 19 and 20.

Ohio State hopes to have Lauderdale back for those crucial early games, as the timetable for his return falls in the middle of those November dates.

Those games could also become huge in March during the selection process of the NCAA Tournament.  Although the Buckeyes should return to the tournament again, marquee wins away from home are looked at very favorably by the NCAA Selection Committee, and wins in November can definitely affect seeding.

Lauderdale’s size would especially be useful against North Carolina and Syracuse, who have imposing frontcourts.

Last season, Lauderdale’s statistics—4.7 points per game and 3.6 rebounds—don’t stand out, but those should improve with increased playing time with the departure of Mullens.  His presence on the floor also cannot be measured by any statistic.

The Buckeyes will again be led by preseason Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Evan Turner and the return of guard David Lighty from injury.

Ohio State opens play at home against Alcorn State Monday, November, 12.