Grant Tries Luring Cothron 'Home'

One of Anthony Grant's goals professed last spring upon being named basketball coach of the Crimson Tide was to cordon off Alabama's boundaries to prevent in-state talent from migrating. Another primary focus was to broaden the recruiting territory from a regional approach to a national search. One specific 2010 prospect, although competing for a school outside the region, is Alabama bred.

In essence Anthony Grant's mission is to convince a highly sought after player to return home,and sign with Alabama.

Huntsville native Luke Cothron considers himself a firm commitment to North Carolina State, but wishes to visit other campuses to reaffirm his decision. Could Alabama be one of the choices to host the 6-9, 220-pound power forward in the near future?

"Maybe," Marquez "Luke" Cothron said. "That's home. It might be."

Alabama Assistant Coach Antoine Pettway is the lead recruiter for the star at Flora Macdonald Academy in Red Springs, N. C. "That's my man right there," Cothron said, raving about the popular former Crimson Tide point guard. Cothron favors the up-tempo style employed by Alabama.

Grant's hire prompted numerous unofficial visits to The Capstone by Cothron. He said he had numerous sit-down conversations with the first year Bama coach. "That is when I really started coming down there," he said. "I have a great connection with Anthony Grant. He was so real to me. I know what type of guy Anthony Grant is."

The coaching staff and playing time are the relevant factors swaying the decision according to Cothron. "I don't want to go anywhere and sit down," he said. "I want to come out and play about 35 minutes."

North Carolina State Wolfpack Coach Sidney Lowe seems destined to return to Raleigh for a fifth season after his tenuous status was bolstered with a February vote of confidence from Athletics Director Lee Fowler.

In addition to Alabama, Cothron has taken unofficial visits to Kansas, Texas A&M, Duke and NC State, among others.

No stranger to the three-point shot, he made five in one game. Inside the paint is the strength of his game he succinctly explained, "I'm inside-out strong."

A coach should expect "rebounding, scoring, blocking shots, and being a force down low," Cothron said of what he will bring. Cougars Athletics Director/Head Basketball Coach Derrick Bond compares Cothron's skill set to a current NBA former all-star. "He reminds me a lot of Antwan Jamison," said Cothron's high school coach. "He's a more refined version of him I think and very similar. He has quick twitch muscles and can rebound really well."

The coach said Cothron has a 31-ionch vertical leap. His ball-handling skills require polishing according to Bond.

Cothron is a four-star player, ranked as the 13th best power forward in the nation by

He intends to ink a letter-of-intent during the April signing period and is scheduled to graduate on time. Although counseling from his head coach and mother is welcomed, the ultimate selection committee has a solo member. "A couple people will help me, but I will make the final decision," Cothron declared.

He readily accepts the persistent recruiting calls. "That is their job," he said. "They have to do what they've got to do."

Five official visits are up in the air and Alabama hopes to win a tip ball decision for one of them.

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