Amid rumors today that Arizona freshman forward Grant Jerrett is considering entering the NBA Draft, one of his former high school teammates has backed out of his commitment to the Wildcats.
Guard Eric Cooper Jr. — who played at La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran High with Jerrett — said he will reconsider his options as he prepares to play at a prep school next season.
Cooper and Jerrett committed to Arizona in November 2010. Cooper was supposed to be a member of the 2013 class, but reclassified to the 2014 class with his decision to attend Brewster Academy in New Hampshire next season.
“I wanted to see what’s out there,” Cooper told the Gazette Newspapers of Long Beach, Calif. “I still love Arizona and everything about it.”
Cooper’s father is Eric Cooper, a former Arizona basketball player. The elder Cooper coached his son and Jerrett in high school at Lutheran; the Coopers were at Long Beach St. Anthony this season.
As for Jerrett, it is surprising news that he would be considering a jump to the NBA after a freshman season in which he averaged 5.2 points and 3.6 points rebounds. The 6-10 forward was one of the team’s best 3-point shooters, especially late in the season, hitting 32 of 79 attempts (40.5 percent).
Jerrett, like fellow freshman big men Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski, has loads of upside but isn’t generally considered to be first-round material at this point.
Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star quoted Jerrett’s travel-ball coach, Dinos Trigonis, as saying Jerrett was considering a jump to the pros but “it wasn’t a definitely done deal, either.” Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com quoted Cooper Sr. as saying, “Grant has no intention of going in the draft at this time.”
The key words being “at this time.”
The deadline to declare for the NBA Draft is April 28.