Friday, March 27, 2009

Cohen should help keep Davidson atop SC

Davidson fans are still getting over their Southern Conference Tournament and NIT losses, but help is on the way in the form of 6-foot-10, 205-pound center Jake Cohen.

Cohen, an in-coming freshman who signed with the Wildcats out of Conestoga High in Berwyn, Pa., continues a recent trend of nationally-recruited players picking the Wildcats, for which some credit must go to junior guard Stephen Curry and the team's run to the Elite Eight a year ago.

Cohen had offers from a number of schools, including Stanford, Penn State, Northwestern, Nebraska and Penn, but visited Davidson, liked it and decided to come on down. On his visit, he spent considerable time with Curry.

"He played ball with us, so I've seen him play," Curry said this week. "I've seen a couple videos on the internet of his playoff games. He's supposed to be a dominant force. He kind of reminds me of Steve Rossiter the way he looks and the way he plays. If we can have two of those down there, that should be pretty good."

While Rossiter is hardly dominant, he is a solid complementary piece. And consider that he is 6-7, while Cohen is three inches taller. Cohen is a good passer from the high post, has a nice mid-range jumper and posts up well despite his lack of bulk. The latter problem can be eliminated in the weight room.

The Wildcats also hope to have 6-9 rising sophomore Frank Ben-Eze, recovering from a knee injury, in good health next season.

Ben-Eze helped establish the trend of big-time prospects picking Davidson--he had offers from Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Marquette, among others.

The bottom line? If Curry turns pro, the Wildcats will still be a force in the Southern Conference. If he returns they should be better than this year, and back in the NCAA Tournament. --Stan Olson