Losing Jaxson Kohler to a foot injury earlier this month was a tough blow for Michigan State basketball. The Spartans already don’t have a ton of proven pieces in the post, but the depth took a major hit, leaving only two healthy centers.
Mady Sissoko is the returning starter at center and sophomore big man and former zero-star recruit Carson Cooper is going to back him up — for now.
With Kohler out, Cooper has a chance to prove himself and he did just that on Wednesday night against Hillsdale College in the exhibition opener at the Breslin Center.
He impressed everyone in attendance with his performance.
Carson Cooper ready to take that next step with Michigan State basketball
Every so often, a player comes around as a lower-rated recruit and just soars past expectations. We’ve seen it before with guys like Draymond Green, Xavier Tillman, and Kenny Goins, but Cooper might just be the next one in that impressive line.
Just take a look at what he did on Wednesday:
Cooper finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and a steal in just 20 minutes. He was an astounding +27 in plus/minus and hit all but one of his seven attempts.
He looked more confident as a post scorer and he doesn’t look like a baby deer on defense anymore either. It’s clear that all the hard work he put in this offseason is coming together as he legitimately looks like a starting center. He could put Mady for minutes.
I’m excited to see this growth continue and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a starter by the time December rolls around.