Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post


Sports Column: Cooper's greatness expected to be cemented as legendary

Recruiting websites arm giddy fans with knowledge and, at best, a murky photo of what the future holds for their respective teams. Player ratings shouldn’t be taken at face value because one who doesn’t receive high marks could turn out better than expected. The opposite can ring true as well.

Ohio senior guard D.J. Cooper is certainly not the latter and is absolutely more than the former. He received a modest three-star rating from both Scout and Rivals but has been nothing short of superb during his Bobcat career.

His career started as the complement to Indiana transfer Armon Bassett. That two-pronged attack led the Bobcats to their historic 14-point victory against Georgetown in 2010.

He was named the Mid-American Conference player of the year on Wednesday. He is the first Bobcat to receive the honor since future NBA talent Gary Trent called The Convo home in the early 1990s.

Cooper took the reins of a fast-paced offense in his sophomore season and saw his point output increase to 15.8 — the best of his career.

Cooper piloted the Bobcats’ offense in their MAC and NCAA Tournament runs that season, as he did in 2012 and hopes to do again this season.

Ohio will take the court at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to begin its tournament run Friday.

TV play-by-play announcer Michael Reghi repeatedly exclaimed names of Cleveland suburbs to describe the length of Cooper’s 3-point jabs during last season’s MAC Tournament, in which he was named MVP.

He averaged almost 17 points per game in the Bobcats’ ensuing NCAA Tournament run but struggled to a 3-20 shooting performance against North Carolina in the Sweet 16, as if to set the stage for a thrilling senior season.

That he did. Murmurs circulated about Cooper becoming the first player in NCAA history to garner 2,000 points, 900 assists, 600 rebounds and 300 steals.

He cemented that status with 24 points against Buffalo on March 5, and ranks just behind NBA great Gary Payton for 12th on the NCAA’s all-time assist list. He is also tied for 20th in career steals.

He is assuredly one of the best Bobcats to ever play the game and stacks up alongside some of the MAC’s greats.

Picture this: a backcourt of Earl Boykins and Cooper, with Wally Szczerbiak on the wing, and Trent and Chris Kaman down on the block with Bonzi Wells off the bench. That’s a team coaches would compete to suit up with.

Cooper’s legacy is still yet to be cast in stone, though.

There will be a fair share of seat backs at Quicken Loans Arena that will go cold when he laces up to do just that Friday night.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH