Sharife Cooper Scouting Report
Cooper is one of those prospects I don't quite have a firm grasp on. Some of his strengths are incredibly clear: he's a prolific passer and in a pick-and-roll offense, can get into the lane and make the right decision. But what I can't quite get a grasp for right now is whether he's more like Ish Smith, a career backup who struggles to shoot but uses his speed and playmaking to make an impact, or like Trae Young-lite.
The shooting numbers suggest Cooper, who was barely above 20% from 3 on the season, is more like Smith. Teams will go under ball screens to keep him out of the lane and dare him to shoot, thus stalling out two of his best traits in passing and PNR playmaking.
But the confidence and frequency with which he takes 3-pointers, fires off the dribble when teams go under screens and pulls from deep behind the line, suggest there may be some normalization of his numbers to a higher 3-point percentage. If that's the case, Cooper becomes a non-lethal version of Trae Young, who manipulates defenses on all three levels.
Some people may be surprised to see turnovers not mentioned as an improvement area, but when you're in the PNR as much as he is and still have a 2:1 A:TO, it isn't a major concern. The strength, defense and shooting are all clear warts to his game. He may end up being a lottery pick due to the intrigue of that shooting upside.
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Adam Spinella, Head Boys Basketball Coach at Boys' Latin School (MD)