Sioux Falls O'Gorman power forward Ben Lauer visited the Minnesota State-Minnesota Dragons in August after picking up a scholarship offer from the school over the summer.
There were other programs interested in the rough and rugged but skilled game of Lauer but the NSIC and the MSU Dragons were the right fit so he accepted their scholarship offer this fall. Yesterday Ben made it official as he signed his letter of intent and joined the program.
“Ben brings a combination of size, skill and athleticism that we are excited to work with over the course of his career,” Dragon Head Coach Chad Walthall said after receiving Ben's signed letter of intent.
“He comes from an outstanding high school and AAU program and will continue to get better in his time at MSUM. Ben is a phenomenal student that will continue to represent our program across the MSUM campus.”
Lauer is a top ten recruit out of South Dakota and was joined by a pair of top 35 talents from Minnesota (Chris Olson from Braham and Johnny Beeninga from Wayzata HS) as well as Evan Hines who is a top 50 talent from Illinois.
Lauer stands 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds and he is joining a team that went to the D2 Elite Eight a year ago with a 35-4 record. MSU released the following about Lauer yesterday:
Lauer is a 6-foot-6 forward who plays for the O'Gorman Knights in Sioux Falls, S.D. He was part of the O'Gorman squad which finished third at the South Dakota Class AA state tournament. Entering his senior season, Lauer has averages of 9.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He has played for the Dakota Schoolers AAU team for four years.
June 29th Update
The Dakota Schoolers traveled to St. Cloud, Minnesota over the weekend and played in the Great Plains Alliance, the event known for division two coaches being in attendance and offering scholarships (10 of 16 NSIC head coaches were there, 14 of the 16 schools were represented by staff).
The event worked out great for 6-foot-6 power forward Ben Lauer of the Dakota Schoolers and Sioux Falls O'Gorman as he received a scholarship from Minnesota State-Moorhead shortly after the event.
“I'm appreciative of the offer and excited for the future,” said Lauer. “I am interested in visiting MSUM and learning more about the school and basketball program.”
The Dragons weren't the only team that noticed Ben this weekend. Lauer has a nice list of interested programs that have been calling regularly the past couple weeks.
“I'm hearing from the University of Sioux Falls, Concordia (St.Paul and Nebraska), and other locals as well as the University of Chicago,” said Lauer.
The Schoolers had been off for seven weeks but they had a nice first weekend back. They defeated a pair of solid Minnesota teams and then lost to the event runner-up.
“I think that as a team we are making progress,” Ben said, “We have a lot of work before we head to St. Louis and Kansas City but I believe we will.”
The Schoolers will play in three July events which includes St. Louis and KC as well as the SPTS championships in Sioux Falls.
March 25, 2015
Today is a new day for Ben Lauer, the Sioux Falls O’Gorman power forward/center. The 6-foot-6 physical big man is now the flag bearer for the Knights along with fellow junior starters Jack Peery and Antonio Casiello.
With Davis Cowan and Braxton Elliott moving on, and with the memory of “what could have been” now in the rear view mirror (the semi-final overtime loss being the classic on everybody’s minds), Lauer can reflect and then grow.
“I feel my junior season went well for me individually and us as a team, but there is certainly room to improve,” Lauer explained. “I am looking forward to the off-season of work.
“My top moment was the state tournament, especially the last two games. The Lincoln game was a classic and the last game I got to share with a great group of seniors.”
Ben is another standout on a Schoolers teams that has high expectations heading into April.
“I'm excited to play my last year of summer tournaments and improve,” said Lauer.
“I look forward to the opportunity of playing with some of the best players in my class as well as some of new guys that I haven't played with yet. I'm still on the Schoolers this year and will be on Coach Mueller's 17 team.”
Lauer sees his time with the Schoolers as a chance to improve daily.
“I would really like to improve athletically, (speed, vertical, etc.) in order to become a more versatile player. I also will look to improve my jump shot and ball handling.”
Area schools are already talking to Lauer about college basketball.
“I'm seeing interest from some of the division two and division three schools of the area, like Mount Marty, University of Sioux Falls, University of Mary, etc.”
Ben gave the Knights 8.1 points and four rebounds a game this year shooting 59 percent from the floor.
December 25th, 2014
The best junior big in Sioux Falls? Arguments can be made for Sioux Falls O’Gorman four man Ben Lauer. Standing 6-foot-6 and playing with Jack Perry, JP Costello, and Davis Cowan every day, Lauer will only get better.
“I think that overall we have started out the season strong and played pretty well as a team,” said Lauer. “There is certainly a lot we need to improve on, but as the season progresses we will keep working to get better at those things. I like the way we have begun and feel good going into the busy months ahead.”
O’Gorman is currently 2-1 with a loss to Lincoln but wins over Brandon Valley and Watertown. Their next three games will be a part of feature events (Mike Mitchell Classic and Sanford Pentagon Classic) at the Sanford Pentagon Complex. Their opponents will be one of the elite teams in the nation and one of the best in Indiana (Lu Lumiere) and an average city school from St. Paul (Highland Park).
Lauer’s group is in the middle of a nine day break as his team prepares for this stretch of holiday games followed by four more games in the city of Sioux Falls including a game with Washington on January 13th.
“We are just focusing on one game at a time, but I think as a team we are capable of making a good run if we continue to share the ball and use the strengths we possess as a unit, such as our depth, to our advantage.”
Playing with one of the best schools in Sioux Falls (O’Gorman) as well as the top AAU squad in South Dakota (The Dakota Schoolers top team) Lauer is now on the list of college programs in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. That said, he’s just focused on supporting his high school team and getting wins.
“My focus at this point is on high school basketball and just improving both as a team and individually as a player,” said Lauer. “College interest has been mainly from the local, in-state schools with a couple out of state as well, but this summer I will direct my focus more on my future in college. As of now however, I'm trying to take things one step at a time, starting with our high school season currently.”
Lauer has been on a couple college campuses (Sioux Falls and Augustana are in town) but that’s a long ways down the road.
“Reiterating what I said earlier I have been focusing on high school ball, though I have been visiting a few campuses in order to get an idea of what I am looking for in a college and hopefully have a general basis for where I will attend come time to decide.”