Friday, August 5, 2016

Four Schools In Heavy Pursuit of Dort

Running parallel to LuGuentz Dort's increased consistency from beyond the arc has been the steady pursuit of Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona State, and Oregon. All four have offered the bullish 6-foot-4 guard, who shot 11-for-23 from deep in Las Vegas. Now at Conrad Academy in Orlando, the Canada-bred guard continues to expand with a vastly improved shooting touch.

Dort, who averaged 20+ PPG to pace Brookwood Elite in the adidas Summer Championships, is currently considering all four. The Class of 2018 prospect, who played at Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) last season also has growing attention from Missouri.

"Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona State, and Oregon have been the most consistent in his recruitment as of right now," said Dort's AAU coach, Nelson Osse.

"The way they play, the way they let their guards go, it's great for him. Lu is a guy who is always in attack mode, he's like a train. He's been shooting it with more consistency and he's still learning to follow the pace of the game. He's really a team guy first."

 Osse is quick to cite Dort's level-headedness. Osse points out humbleness as an X-factor in Dort, never one to become enamored with the opponent or the rankings systems. Osse noticed a different player in Dort following a 33-point outburst against Josh Jackson's team.

"I asked him after the game, 'do you know you just played against the no.3 player in the nation in 2016?'. He didn't know. He's not a groupie type. Lu just goes out and plays."

Dort will likely make more campus visits as starts his junior season. Gators assistant coach Dusty May has been a steady presence in Dort's recruitment, as Osse noted. All four programs have been moving at the same pace in vying for Dort's services. Dort  established himself as a high-scoring, hard-driving guard at ACD this past season.

"Florida Gators, Oregon, Arizona State, Oklahoma, and Missouri," said Dort of the programs moving most aggressively in his recruitment.

"Oregon and Florida I've been talking to for some time now."

Built in the mold of a Big East caliber guard, Dort's finishing ability, playmaking presence on both sides of the court and natural vision catapulted him into the upper crust of the nation's unsigned prospects.

Dort keyed a game-altering 14-2 run in ACD's 69-55 victory over Wesleyan Christian in the Holiday Invitational Tournament. He finished with 22 points.

One of Dort's most memorable performances occurred during a dramatic 72-70 win against heated rival West Oaks Academy (Orlando).

During an eyeball to eyeball performance against his cousin, West Oaks' Richardson Maitre, Dort landed hard on a drive during the third quarter. He would end up leaving the bandbox ACD gym on a stretcher, sustaining a hand fracture which shelved him for several weeks.

ACD head coach Shaun Wiseman's decision to take his basketball program to the Conrad School greatly influenced Dort's decision to transfer. He'll also have the opportunity to play alongside his close friend and Montreal native Shawn Barthelemy. Also a Class of 2018 guard, Barthelemy plays with the Brookwood Elite on the AAU circuit.

With two years remaining, Dort continues to stake his claim as one of the nation's most unheralded and underrated guards.

"He's shooting the ball so much better," Osse said. "He shot the three well in Vegas and that has really propelled him."