2010 forward will be among nation's best
Asking Luke Cothron to name his schools of interest will have the 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward responding to you with something that sounds almost like an answer to a Geography test. According to the Flora MacDonald Academy (N.C.) star, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Charlotte, Florida State and Mississippi State have all offered. He then rattled off a list of interested schools that include South Carolina, Florida, Memphis, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Southern Cal, UCLA, LSU, Auburn, UAB and N.C. State.
So what makes a kid like this so heralded?
"He's got the ability to do anything. It comes natural to him. He's got a lot of ability," said his high school coach Derrick Bonds. "He's a very, very skilled player. If he was on a team full of bigs, he could play the two. If he's on a team full of guards, he could play the five. He plays a little point guard for us. We try different things."
Cothron is very focused on the season, and isn't looking to pull the trigger anytime soon as he's evaluating all the schools after him on a timeline that will span about a year long.
"I'm looking at the coaches, who they are going to bring in, the style (of play), the tempo (they play) and who's going to graduate," the four-star big man said. "It won't be until the next spring until I cut my list to five and then three."
Relationships with the coaches is also something that Cothron wants to build during the recruiting process, and he's evaluating each coach on an individual basis.
"I'm looking at how many players they put in the league, the winning record, a relationship with his players, and stuff like that," he said. But every situation is looked at differently through Cothron's eyes, because someone like South Carolina coach Darrin Horn is moving up the ranks and on the verge of turning a program around.
"With that situation, you have to keep looking at that situation to see if he can keep turning the program around," Cothron said of Horn and the Gamecock program. "You kind of just have to wait that one out."
And the way Cothron has played this year after exploding on the scene in the AAU world, he's worth the wait.
"He can post you up, he can get 20 rebounds, he can get 10 blocks and he can hit ten threes," Bonds said. "He's that versatile."
Cothron will head to the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. to see N.C. State play rival North Carolina this weekend, but says he's not partial to anyone or region, despite now residing in ACC country.
"I'm not looking to play (in a certain conference); I'm looking for whatever best fits me."
He did admit that with the home-state school Alabama, they are "fading away" because of their coaching situation. Stability will definitely be key for the talented forward with the sweet stroke.
But Cothron and his coach know he's got work to do before he gets to college because of the intense level of competition. His ball handling is his main concern, but Bonds sees it differently.
"He's got to be able to guard the perimeter," Bonds said. "He's got to be able to guard guys that are facing him up. I think his post defense is real solid. If he works on his perimeter defense, I think he has a shot at being the best player in the country."
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