We’ve seen a lot of players come through our doors over the years, varying in appearance, skill level, and everything in between. We decided to put forth a “Getting to Know” series on some players who have attended events over the past few years but still remain on the lesser-known side of things. Each of these prospects embody being a student-athlete and getting it done in the classroom as well as on the basketball court, and today’s edition will take a closer look at Daniel Cooper of Grimsley High School.
We’ve watched his progression closely throughout the last year, including during the season, where we stated, “It should come as no surprise, but Cooper was clearly the most valuable player for either team during this contest and it wasn’t really close. His game is predicated on hustle, motor, and being unselfish, and that’s extremely evident in watching him perform. Cooper runs the floor as well as anyone in the state, which puts him in an excellent position to finish around the rim with consistency. He simply has a nose for the ball, especially as a rebounder, and secures his fair share of two-way rebounds and second-chance opportunities. Cooper is smart and always looking to make the best available play but his passing was truly on another level throughout this contest. He plays a simple but undeniably effective game and naturally finds production without ever needing to force the action. It’s showings like this that could begin to entice college coaches. Final stats: 25 points, 10 points, and 6 assists.”
With major pieces (like Ahmil Flowers) departing, Cooper is going to be tasked with being the Whirlies’ leader on a nightly basis. Though it seems like a tall order, Cooper has already shown flashes of being their focal point. There were times last season where his identity as a tough, smart, high-motor forward just naturally led to impressive production. He dominates the glass, runs the floor very well, and takes advantage of countless second-chance opportunities. Cooper plays a very simple, straightforward game—but opponents still struggle to contain him. On paper, there could be questions about how his game translates to the next level. However, Cooper is the type of player that every team can utilize and should have scholarship-level programs pursuing him over the next twelve months.