March 30, 2010

Cothron talks Grant, Tide

Before moving to Red Springs, North Carolina to become one of the nation's top high school basketball stars, Rivals150 power forward Luke Cothron was an Alabama native who grew up watching both Alabama and Auburn basketball. Now both schools are in contention for the four-star prospect along with three other elite programs.

"My situation can always change but right now I'd say my top five are Alabama, Kentucky, Auburn, Tennessee and Marquette," said Cothron. "I'm going to meet (new Auburn head coach) Tony Barbee sometime this week. I have been keeping up with the coaching change at Auburn and I already knew about Coach Barbee from UTEP and from when he was an assistant at Memphis. He's got a great reputation as a coach so I'm looking forward to meeting him."

Rated as the nation's No. 8 power forward prospect, Cothron grew up a fan of the Crimson Tide and thus far feels good about what he's seen out of Tide head coach Anthony Grant.

"There are several things I really like about Alabama but the biggest is Coach Grant. Ever since the first time I talked to him I have really been impressed with what he has to say and the way he runs his program. It also doesn't hurt that Alabama is the home-state team for me and a team I grew up pulling for. I have always liked the fans at Alabama and the atmosphere they can create when things are really going good."

"A lot of people talk about how the fans at Alabama and Auburn don't get excited about basketball but that's just not true. They are just like any fanbase, they love a winner. If you give them a great team they can get excited about and be proud of, they will come out. They have already done it in the past."

The 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward said he plans on taking his time with the recruiting process and won't announce his final decision until he's had a chance to visit all five of his current top schools.

"I really don't have any idea when I'm going to be ready to make my decision. I know I still want to visit Marquette before I do anything. I really wasn't expecting them to offer but now that they did I want to learn more about them. I know I like their style of play and I like that they have some good guards coming back next year."

While Cothron said he is looking at things like facilities and playing time, far and away the most important factor in his decision will be the personalities of the coaches and players at each program.

"Playing in my home state would be a special experience but if I found the right school and it was on the other side of the country, I would have no problem playing there. The most important thing to me is having a good relationship with the coach and with the other players. I'm going to be working with these guys for the next few years and I think the best way to become a better player is to work with people you respect and people you trust. That's pretty much what I'm going to base my decision on."

As a senior, Cothron average 30 points and 13 rebounds per game for Flora McDonald Academy.

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