Prior to this past April, Sandy Cohen hardly registered on the grassroots radar. He'd toiled obscurely in Wisconsin while, one state away, Tyus Jones and Rashad Vaughn were receiving overflowing accolades in Minnesota.
Cohen made his move (alongside Vaughn) during the spring. Starting at the EYBL California event, during the first live period, he became a co-featured attraction for Playground Elite. His skill level far exceeded that of most 6-5 guards, and he never looked back.
He next mastered the Hampton event, held one weekend later in Virginia. Following April, he'd drawn offers from Wisconsin-Green Bay, Providence, Marquette, Minnesota, LaSalle and George Washington, with Illinois, Kentucky and Iowa also showing interest.
He earned invitations to the Nike skills academies and solidified his place among the country's blue-chip guards. His interests and aspirations intersected with those of Buzz Williams and Marquette, and he committed to the Golden Eagles in late July.
Cohen is a superlative ball-handler, so much so that he received college interest as a point guard. He not only dribbles well, he sees the entire court, understands the importance of spreading the ball around and, thanks to Vaughn, proved he knows how to feed an alpha scorer.
He also contributes points of his own. He's a fine mid-range shooter who hits some threes but perhaps is more adept situationally putting the ball on the floor and either shooting over other guards or taking it all the way to the rim.
Though not a dynamo laterally, Cohen is big and quick enough to defend opposing wings (not point guards) and should become solid on that end as well.
Moreover, his no-nonsense, blue collar style should endear him to MU's coaching staff as well as the fanbase.
As mentioned, Cohen likely will be just average athletically. He's by no means slow, but he also doesn't possess a big-time first step or skywalking leaping ability. He's a control athlete, not a particularly explosive one.
He also must become a more consistent three-point shooter. He hits some now but is prone to cold streaks and also passed up a few open ones during our viewings. Like most high school players he'll need to get stronger, but his frame is slender without being weak and thus that shouldn't prove an overly difficult challenge.
Words and expressions you'll see associated with Cohen most frequently at the next level include "solid," "grind it out," "cerebral," "steady," and the like. He doesn't run away from the pack athletically and isn't a lights-out scorer.
Instead, it's his versatility that has enabled him to make such significant headway relative to his peers. Cohen is a magnificent second ball-handler who could play point during an emergency, and his understanding of the team concept also will serve him well. He should be an outstanding four-year contributor to Marquette's program.