Hoops Recruiting: Pokes Target Juco Standout

Oklahoma State is in on one of the top junior college players in the nation in Dodge City (Kans.) Community College standout Charlie Coley, who was given serious consideration for the preseason junior college player of the year by one national publication. We visited Thursday morning with Dodge City head coach Brian Hoberecht about Coley and his recruitment.

The 6-foot-7 Coley averaged 11.7 points and 10 rebounds with 101 blocked shots (more than three a game) in helping lead Dodge City to a 23-10 record last season. He shot 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the three-point arc. Although 11.7 points doesn't sound like a lot what people have to take into consideration that the Conquistadors had five players average in double figures last season, and a sixth came off the bench to score better than nine points a game.

"Charlie was in contention with two other players for the Street & Smith's national junior college player of the year. He's arguably the most athletic junior college player in the nation," Hoberecht said of the West Palm Beach, Fla., native with a 41-inch vertical jump.

"He's an outstanding athlete, bouncy. He has the ability to score, pass and create for his other teammates. He's a young man with very high character and that's one reason I think he's developed into the player he has because he wants to be the best," the Dodge City head coach continued.

Hoberecht's telephone has been ringing off the hook and Dodge City has yet to play a game. You can bet college coaches will be finding their way to Dodge City this winter, especially since Coley plans to wait to sign during next April's signing period, Hoberecht said. "We're in no hurry to take some visits the next few weeks and speed the process up," he said.

The Dodge City coach said about 12 to 15 teams are actively recruiting Coley. "We're working to narrow that list. We hope to have a short list soon. I don't want to talk for Charlie but I would assume that Oklahoma State would be on that short list of five to eight teams," he said.

A partial list of schools actively recruiting Coley are Oklahoma State, UNLV, Texas A&M, Kansas, St. John's, Bradley, Oklahoma, Auburn and Florida State. He took his first official visit a few weeks ago to Florida International (a school where he knows one of the assistant coaches). He does not have any other visits scheduled, Hoberecht said.

Coley's strength as a player is "his ability to rebound," Hoberecht said. "There are not a lot of kids in the country who can go get 10 rebounds a game as a freshman. His athleticism allows him to separate himself from others. He can go a little higher and is a little quicker than the other guy when he wants to.

"I call him a 6-7 combo forward. He has the ability to play on the perimeter facing the basket or go down on the block and score. He's still developing a guard's mentality to get by people and explode to the basket, because he's spent most of his career playing inside. At 6-7, handling the ball is not natural to him, but he's really worked on it and made himself better.

"He's a highlight film in transition. He has the ability in transition to make plays, and really do some exciting things."

Although Street & Smith's did not select Coley as its preseason player of the year, the magazine did name him to its first-team Super Sophomores squad.

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