Shifting Focus

For Yazoo City HS product Demarco Cox, realizing the dream of college basketball has been a long time coming.

While the 6-foot-8, 300 pounder has dipped his toes into the high school football waters, most of his time is spent on the hardwood.

Filling his summer schedule with AAU ball and spending the fall as the center for the Indians, it's been all-basketball for Cox since his middle school days.

"He was very raw when we first got him as a ninth grader," Yazoo City head coach Archie Carlyle said. "At that time, we could afford to play him as a ninth grader. He played a lot, made some mistakes, but got experience. From then on, he controlled his own. He's been here for a while. I moved him up because I didn't see him as a ninth grade player. I could see the potential in him."

And that potential grows more and more with each passing year.

Having participated in spring drills in each of the past three years, Cox has flirted with a possible jump to football. College scouts have drooled over his size and quickness, envisioning the massive youngster as a fixture along an offensive or defensive line.

"I've played in the spring before, but I've never played a season," Cox said of his limited football experience. "I'm playing offensive tackle and defensive tackle. It's going pretty well. We're having two-a-days and it's hot out there in that sun. But we're working hard."

However, after committing to Ole Miss hoops Tuesday, Cox is ready to show why basketball scouts are equally impressed.

"It feels good," Cox said of his decision. "It had gotten to a point that I wanted to make a decision, and I knew where I wanted to go. I've been to Ole Miss three times – two of them Elite Camps. I liked what I saw up there. (The new BPF) wasn't finished when I was up there. I want to see that when it's finished. I'm happy it will be ready when I get there."

After averaging 15 points and eight rebounds over his junior season, Cox welcomes the opportunity to focus solely on basketball at the next level.

"My freshman year I want to just focus on basketball," he said. "My first love is basketball (over football). I've been playing it too long. My goal is to be an All-SEC Freshman."

Despite his plus frame, Cox is known for his impressive athleticism and versatility. But that hasn't stopped the center/power forward from committing to the weight room this season.

"I want to lose some weight," he said. "I'm 6-foot-8, and I am down right now from 308 to 300. I'd like to get down to about 280-285. I can move pretty good right now, but that would help me even more and also to jump higher.

"I love to work out with weights. But I haven't worked out this summer, because I've been gone all summer. But I really like doing it. My max was 275 on bench and 430 on squat. My vertical is at least 30 inches."

Now with his decision behind him, Cox said he's looking toward a promising senior season for Yazoo City basketball.

"We're going to be good," Cox said. "On this year's team, nobody cares about scoring. We just want to win. We play together as a team, and that will help us win. We're back-dooring, they're getting the ball into me and the shooters are shooting better. We're better than ever."

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