When Olive Branch beat East, it was an upset for the ages to those in attendance and a special night for their junior point guard. Joe Cooper was the game’s MVP scoring 18 points with some huge shots down the stretch for his team who was recognized as the best team in Mississippi just recently as last week. It was a high of sorts for Cooper who went into his second to last season of high school basketball on a bit a roll since an early injury last spring that limited him some during the early evaluation period. He had some good moments late in the summer and now at full strength, Cooper is showing why a lot of colleges are moving him up their list of potential players in the future.
The 6’0 point guard is quietly being recruited pretty well among some of the areas best lead guards and has suitors including Winthrop, Southern Miss, MTSU, SIUE, UT Martin, Southeast Louisiana and Murray State. He has some good interest as well including LSU, Maryland, Colorado State, Dayton and the University Of Memphis. Cooper says, ” I really love Memphis but they haven’t offered yet but as of now Murray state is the favorite”. In the open floor, Cooper has elite speed and can hit an extra gear to the rim for the lay ups or in the half court set as well where he creates opportunities for himself finding creases in the lane for drives down hill. He has a good handle and keeps defenders at bay because of speed because you can’t play him tight or just gets by you. In the past, the knock has been consistently knocking down the jumper when the drive isn’t there for him but he’s worked on that and it’s paying off . “I’ve been trying to become more of scoring threat and working on on my shooting and defense” said says Cooper.
With just one summer left of travel basketball , he’s leaning toward playing with Adidas based MBA Hoops and then his senior year, making a college choice will soon be at the helm of his life. Cooper wants to be at a school that will be ride with him through the ups and downs in college basketball and one that will play the uptempo game as well. “I want to go to a school who will trust in me and let me play through my mistakes as a player”. With the most important part of the season coming up, Cooper can really show himself as one of the premier point guards in Mississippi with a state title on his resume this season and Olive Branch is more than capable. I know that a players get more attention and deservedly so however, when mentioning the best point guards in the area, you have to bring up Cooper’s name or it would be a mistake.