Following a strong freshman season at Gulf Coast State College in Florida, All-Panhandle Conference guard Quavius Copeland has scheduled his first official visit for later this week.
The 6-foot-1 Copeland, an academic qualifier out of high school with three years of remaining eligibility, leaves Thursday to visit the Louisiana campus in Lafayette. He lists the Ragin’ Cajuns, Indiana State and Detroit as his current leaders but is still keeping his options open.
“I love all of the coaches and the way they play because they get the ball up and down the court and that matters to me a lot,” Copeland said of the Cajuns, Indiana State and Detroit. “With the Cajuns, I like how they push their players and had Elfrid Payton get to the NBA. That shows their ability to transform players and get them better to play after college. I like how Detroit is hard-nosed, tough and physical. Indiana State lets their point guards play and I like them a lot, too.”
This season Copeland was All-Panhandle Conference honorable mention and made the league’s All-Freshman team after averaging 10.4 points and 3.9 assists for a balanced squad that won 19 games. He also shot 33.3 percent from 3-point range and 74.1 percent on free throws. In league play he averaged a team-high 14 points, 3.3 assists and one steal while hitting 38.8 percent of his 3s and 75 percent of his free throws.
East Carolina, Loyola Marymount, Loyola (Ill.), Gardner-Webb, Wofford, Jacksonville, Iona, Manhattan, Canisius, Texas State, Middle Tennessee, Cal and Arkansas State are other schools that have contacted him.
“I’m a playmaker,” said Copeland, a South Carolina native who averaged 24 points and six assists as a post-grad during the 2013-14 season at 22 Feet Academy in Greenville. “I like to play uptempo. I’m aggressive and attack-minded but also smart.”
Copeland scored a career-high 24 points in a Jan. 28 win over Tallahassee Community College. He also had 16 points apiece in a pair of February wins over conference foe Northwest Florida State College — the only losses of the season for the eventual NJCAA Division I national champs. In December he had a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists in a win over USC Salkehatchie.
“He was really good at beating his guy off the dribble and getting into the paint and getting his teammates involved,” said Gulf Coast State College assistant coach Brendan Walker. “His mid-range game started to come along during the year. He kept learning and getting better and shot better from 3 in conference play and that opened up things for him to get into the paint and to the rack. We knew he could shoot it, but he far exceeded our expectations.”
Copeland has room to improve his mid-range game, but Walker still expects him to be an impact player next season at the Division I level.
“We played several teams loaded with talent and coaches would come up to me after games and tell me he was the best guard on the floor,” Walker said. “We were the only team to beat Northwest Florida State and he was great in all three of those games. I think the best place for him to go is a place that is really guard-oriented because he likes to get up and down the floor, can run a team and is confident handling the ball, making plays and getting by his guy.”
After visiting Louisiana, Copeland plans to take trips to Detroit and Indiana State. The earliest he can sign is during the NCAA’s regular signing period, which is April 15 to May 20.
“I should have those (visit) dates set in the next week,” Copeland said. “I’m going to take all my visits and then I’ll decide where I’m going to sign.”
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