Strike while the iron’s hot.
That’s what John Calipari is trying to do with Sharife Cooper, one of the top guards in the Class of 2020 who is having a great junior season. The five-star recruit already holds an offer from Kentucky, and it’s becoming clear that he’s the point guard Calipari wants most in 2020.
It just so happens Kentucky went into Auburn and beat the 14th-ranked Tigers on Saturday. It always helps in recruiting when you can beat a school on the court that you’re fighting with off the court for a recruit.
On Monday, Cooper, who plays for McEachern High School, was named MVP of his Hoophall Classic matchup with Rancho Christian School. After the big performance, Cooper shared an interesting nugget with FloHoops:
Cooper said Kentucky is pushing to get him sooner than later.
”They kind of want to do it now, but I’m just trying to take my time,” he said of a commitment.
Cooper added he’ll visiting Duke soon, though the Blue Devils have yet to offer him.
As for a visit to Lexington: “I think I’m going to go to the Kentucky-Auburn game later in the season [Feb 23].”
Early in the 2020 recruiting cycle, it looked like Jeremy Roach was the point guard that Calipari wanted in this class. But not long after Kentucky offered Roach in the fall, Cooper scored an offer as well.
Calipari already has a point guard coming in for next season in Tyrese Maxey, as well as the potential for Immanuel Quickley to return for a sophomore season, so it makes sense that he’s now focusing heavily on who his 2020 point man will be, and Cooper appears to be that man.
Check out some highlights from Cooper’s performance at the Hoophall Classic: