The biggest need of the offseason for the Gophers was point guard. After securing a commitment from Dawson Garcia to play inside, Ben Johnson and staff have landed a point for their second transfer this offseason.
Former school: Morehead State
In his third season playing for the Eagles, Cooper averaged 9.1 points, 5.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. He made the Ohio Valley 1st team All-Conference. His Eagle’s team finished 3rd in the OVC and came close to knocking off undefeated Murray State in the OVC Championship game. He ranked 7th in the nation in assists.
Cooper shot well in this three seasons and clearly looks to get the ball to his teammates in position to score. And at 6’4”, Cooper should bring some solid length on the defensive end of the floor.
In his first two seasons Cooper shot 38% or better from 3, before dipping a bit this last season. But it is his 5.9 assists per game that really jumps out at you. This was good enough to rank 7th nationally and he had 8 games where he dished out 8 or more assists.
So where do we expect him to fit in?
Well, if the season started today he would be your starting point guard. With more time left in the offseason and he will either remain the starting point or give this team much needed perimeter depth. The smart money is on Cooper as your starting PG.
You recall a year ago when Ben Johnson and his staff were scrambling to fill out their roster and they added low-major guards who were largely unheard of. These guys turned out to be the right fit, the right type of player for this system and collectively they exceeded expectations. Cooper feels like that kind of player.
He was 1st team all-conference for a solid mid-major conference, he is a lead guard who is going to get the ball to his playmakers while being able to add some scoring on his own. Overall, this feels like a player who fits perfectly for what is needed.
Cooper and Garcia both will have 2 years of eligibility to play and now the staff have 2 scholarships available for the rest of the offseason. A scoring guard or small forward is likely the top priority along with potentially another ball-handler.