Jerrett and Cooper improving

Eric Cooper, Sr. had a chance to see both his son and Grant Jerrett in action this summer. Read on to see what he think of how they played, where Cooper, Jr. is in his recovery, and more.

Arizona commitments Grant Jerrett and Eric Cooper, Jr. are about a month removed from putting the wraps on a summer's worth of basketball running with Belmont Shore, a team that was sometimes coached by former Wildcat and the duo's high school basketball coach at La Verne Lutheran, Eric Cooper, Sr..

The elder Cooper broke down the improvements he saw from his son, UA's lone pledge in 2013, and is pleased with the younger Cooper's development on the AAU circuit this summer.

"I saw a huge improvement just in him being able to play," Cooper Sr. said. "You look at everybody who was playing on the circuit, none of them had been out for a whole year without playing or being able to run on the court. For him to come back in January, lose 25 pounds and then start playing in the summer was just a huge feat in itself.

"At this point in the weight room he's getting stronger, because once he lost all the weight, there wasn't much muscle there because he hadn't played a lot. Now he'll build up the muscle and he'll get into the rhythm of playing again. Next summer you'll see a totally different person, as well as this school year."

For Cooper, Sr., seeing his son recover from such a rare and devastating knee injury and get back on the court is enough to make him a happy father. But as his coach, he's ready to see his junior guard continue to improve his game.

"I'm just proud of him," Cooper, Sr. said. "Sometimes I just have to look at him and say,' wow, only one percent of the population has the bipartite patella knee problem, where your knee cap is split in two. Out of one percent of the population, you're back playing'. I think he's doing a phenomenal job.

"The next step for him is to get in the gym and do a Kyle Fogg. Just get in there and go from being a good shooter to a great shooter. He needs to get his body right; a lot of basketball has to do with getting your body as big and strong as you can possibly be. He has a small frame now that he's lost all of the weight.

"He has to fill that up with muscle so he can take the hits, play defense, and that'll help him be more aggressive. That's the next stage of his development: getting his body where it would have been if he hadn't had two years of injury."

Jerrett will arrive in Tucson a whole year before Cooper, Jr., and by his coach's estimation only needs to match his physical attributes to his already existent skill set.

"I've seen tremendous improvement from Grant too," Cooper, Sr. said. "Grant has a similar path as Eric. He needs to get his body to a place where he can deal with the physicality of college. He's a great individual talent, but he still needs to develop his body and become a strong, aggressive force. That all has to do with his body, he just needs to keep hitting the weights."

Head coach Sean Miller was in the home of Jerrett over the weekend for a visit, and continued to develop the familiarity and relationship that will be essential to his success as a Wildcat.

"The in-home visit was great," Cooper, Sr. said. "It was kind of relaxed, we sat around talking and answering questions and watching a little video tape of how he sees him in the future. It was a good thing for him to get familiar with his future coaches."

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