Cote To Kentucky, Done Deal
The University of Kentucky, on Sunday, gained a commitment from Canadian power forward Bernard Cote. Cote played at the Bob Gibbons event in May and Nike Camp in July. At the Gibbons, he wasn't given enough playing time to show what he can do and at Nike Camp was mysteriously lumped in with the wing forwards, thus missing out on a chance to show his skills on the blocks. Given the lack of big men in this class, it was a travesty of sorts that college recruiters weren't able to see his value as a power forward.
Then, later in the month, he made believers out of the recruiters who saw him play in a different setting with more structure and the offers began rolling in. "From all we understand, after [colleges] saw him play in the Kentucky Hoops, they really liked him. Everybody offered him after the game," John DeAngelas said.
On Sunday, UK received a commitment from the young man they offered in July. "He confirmed it on Sunday," DeAngelas said. "Actually, we just told the coaching staff and were hoping on Tuesday to do a press release but the word gets out pretty quick."
Given the circumstances surrounding air travel and the events that happened last week, the time was right for a decision. "I [the attack on America] was one of the reasons. He fell in love with Kentucky and the whole situation and coach Smith. He thought why not make a decision and go there."
Cote was apparently impressed with UK's commitment to him. Even when it wasn't clear if he would visit Lexington or not, Tubby Smith made the effort to go see him and spend the day with him. That really impressed Cote.
"I think that Coach Smith is just a good guy and everybody we've spoken to … nobody has anything bad to say about him. For a kid from Montreal, it's a dream to be able to play there."
Last year, Cote averaged 13 points and 9 rebounds and was named to the All-Canada team. "He is able to just understand what he has to do. If there is a guy bigger than him, he takes him outside and destroys him. If he's got a smaller guy, he takes him inside."
Next year, Cote will be a 20-year old freshman and his coach really believes that his age and understanding of the game will assist him in the transition to major college basketball. In Canada, his high school team often plays against Canadian junior colleges.
Kansas and Notre Dame were also considered and DeAngelas is quick to praise the Jayhawks. "They did a really good job. They are tremendous over there.
Cote is the second Canadian to commit to a major U.S. university. Denham Brown selected UConn last week. "It's great for Canadian basketball," DeAngelas said.