Cooper opens door to other possibilities

Eric Cooper, Jr.

Arizona and Eric Cooper, Jr. have reached a mutual understanding, opening the way for the 2014 recruit to possibly find another home.

It's been a long time since Nov. 29, 2010, when Arizona landed a commitment from 6-foot-3, 185-pound Long Beach (Calif.) St. Anthony 2014 guard Eric Cooper, Jr.

Almost 900 days later and the two parties reached a mutual decision for Cooper to take a look around to assure that the guard is putting himself in the best possible situation for the future.

"At this point, Eric hasn't gone through a recruiting process and Arizona has moved on with its recruiting," said Eric Cooper, Sr., who coaches his son at St. Anthony.

"I don't know that right now they can really count on Eric in 2013 or 2014. I think they have to wait and see how he develops, which is a good opportunity for Eric also to see how he develops and if there are any other places that fit where he turns out as a player. What type of skill set he has."

Due to the long period of time between the commitment and now, there have been significant changes to the Arizona program and Cooper feels it's in both parties' best interest to start looking around.

"Three seasons ago, when Eric committed, life at Arizona was a lot different than it is now and Eric has been in and out of games [due to injuries]," said Cooper, Sr. "He's missed a lot of basketball.

"Sean (Miller) was put in a tough situation because he loved the kid early on and knows that Eric is a great kid, but also as an organization, you have to continue growing and getting players even if some of the kids go through injuries, like Eric did."

The goal is for Cooper to take a look around at his options over the next several months, before possibly sitting down with Arizona later to see how that opportunity compares to what else he has in front of him.

"He's decommitted, but Arizona is one of the schools he wants to go to," Cooper, Sr. said. "He'll go through a process, take five official visits and then make a decision.

"This just gives him the opportunity to see what else is available for him. And same with Arizona, if they feel they need to give his spot to someone else, they have the opportunity to do that.

"I think he's opening himself to some more opportunities. If nothing is out there, Arizona is definitely at the top of his list. He just wants to see what else is out there and if there's a better fit for him out there."


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