Dorman product 6-4 Ta’Lon Cooper appears headed to Columbia to play his final season of college basketball. Cooper’s high school coach, Thomas Ryan, said Monday afternoon Cooper had a great official visit with USC over the weekend, and all signs point him to signing up with Lamont Paris for the next season.
“He had a great visit. Very impressed with the staff and enjoyed the players,” Ryan said. :”Looks very favorable for Gamecocks. He feels like South Carolina has a perfect opportunity for him to come in and run the show as they are still making their roster over and getting it exactly like they want it. Ta’Lon wanted to get back to home. Had a great year for Minnesota this past year in the Big Ten. He’s got one more year and I think he just saw it as a great opportunity to get back here locally, so he’s excited. I would stop short of me saying that he’s committed, though it’s looking very favorable for Carolina.”
Cooper does not have any other visits planned according to Ryan, and public confirmation of his plans could be out within the next 24 hours.
As for what the Gamecocks would be getting in Cooper, Ryan said he’s the guy who can come in and run the show for Paris and give them steady leadership on the court.
“I like that he’s a competitor and he’s tough,” Ryan said. “He’s 6-4, great size for a point guard. His IQ and floor vision are off the charts. I’ve been fortunate to coach a lot of good players up here, and his court awareness and vision, and his unselfishness are really, really good. And he shot the ball 38% from three this year. That hasn’t been one of Ta’Lon’s strong suits, but he’s turned it into a major asset the last year or two. He’s just become a very capable shooter. Early in his career, that was an area he needed to improve on, and he’s done that.”
Iin 31 games for the Golden Gophers this season, Cooper averaged 10 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds per game. He played 95 games in three seasons at Morehead State before transferring to Minnesota. There he averaged 8 points, 4 assists and 3 steals per game. For his career, Cooper is a 41% shooter including 37% from three and 66% from the foul line.