The fast-rising wing prides itself on defense and leadership

Not too long ago, Syracuse basketball offered a scholarship to Kaden Cooper, who is one of the top prospects in his class.

Last month during NCAA live periods on the grassroots basketball circuit, the 6-foot-6 guard/small forward raised his stock as much as virtually anyone in the 2023 class.

These days, Cooper’s recruiting is literally exploding right and left with new offers. He’s a three-star player in his cycle, according to some scouting services, but that’s about to change.

While I’m not a scouting analyst or scout, I feel pretty comfortable saying Cooper is a top-100 four-star player in 2023, and his national ratings could end up way higher than that.

Despite stiff and growing competition, Orange coaches appear to be in constant communication with Cooper, as noted in a recent tweet from scouting service Pro Insight.

A recent interview spotlights Syracuse basketball rookie Kaden Cooper.

Cooper, who plays for The Skill Factory in Atlanta as well as Oklahoma-based Trae Young in the Adidas League, recently did a Q&A with Pro Insight, and it’s a must read.

I’ll put it this way. Kaden Cooper is one high school player that I would really like to see don a ‘Cuse uniform all the way, for the way he plays on the field, and also for what seems to be most important to him.

First off, Cooper in the Pro Insight interview notes that he’s a gym rat. His work ethic is top notch. And he’s competitive and confident, but Cooper is also humble.

Cooper told Pro Insight he was very proud of the defensive side of the pitch, adding: “I feel like one of the best defenders in my class.” I dig that kind of trust.

Scoring runs is great and he is confident in his shooting touch as well as his playing abilities. But Cooper is also very good at playing the bustle, grabbing balls 50-50, rebounding assertively and playing with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

Perhaps more important than anything else, Cooper says he’s a leader on the pitch, communicating all the time, while doing whatever he can to support his teammates.

Check this quote. “I want to be remembered as the guy who basically cared about his team, like at all times whether they win or lose. Basically just the guy who picks everyone up when they’re down, keeps the team motivated, keeps their energy up. Not necessarily like the nice guy, but just basically the leader.

How can you not want a young man like Kaden Cooper on your team?

For the Orange, however, it will prove a huge challenge to prevail in the recruitment of Cooper. His slate of offers includes Houston, Pittsburgh, TCU, Mississippi State, Xavier, Kansas, Illinois, Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Georgia Tech, Creighton, LSU, Wake Forest, Oklahoma, St. John’s, Rutgers, DePaul, Oklahoma State, Omaha, Kent State, Oral Roberts, UNLV, Tulsa and SMU.

Additionally, college teams such as Kentucky, Gonzaga, Maryland, West Virginia, Oregon, Butler, and Connecticut are said to be showing interest in him.

Hopefully Syracuse basketball will become a strong contender for Kaden Cooper. Whichever team lands him, I have to say he will have a truly admirable young man.

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