• Sharife Cooper is a talented playmaker with great quickness and creativity coming off an extremely productive freshman season at Auburn. Emerging as one of the top floor generals in prep basketball, Cooper finished his career at McEachern High School (GA) regarded as one of the top-20 prospects in the high school class of 2020 and was tabbed as a McDonald’s All-American. Despite the early part of his freshman year as his eligibility was under investigation, Cooper hit the ground running as he stepped into a massive role in SEC play for Head Coach Bruce Pearl’s Eagles. Averaging 20.2 points, 8.1 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game, the 19-year-old freshman emerged as one of the most prolific guards in the country in route to SEC All-Freshman Team honors.
• Not especially big for a point guard listed at 6’1 in shoes with a 180-pound frame and average length, Cooper compensates for his size with an exceptional blend of quickness and ball handling ability.
• Carrying the Tigers offensively, Cooper drove the majority of what Auburn looked to do in the half court as soon as he was eligible. Sparking the break, breaking down defenses going one-on-one, getting to the line at a tremendous rate, and creating prolifically out of ball screens, he emerged as one of the most prolific guards in the country.
• Making some plays with his quickness defensively but looking more dialed in sometimes than others in his shortened freshman season, Cooper has room to get stronger and more polished on that end of the floor.
• Thriving as a scorer and passer in the pick and roll this season putting his quickness and ball handling ability to good use manipulating defenses, Cooper lived in the lane, scored at a strong rate around the rim, and found the open man consistently.
• Assisting on almost as many points as he scored, Cooper carried the Tigers with his creativity on the offensive end. Using his quickness and ability to change speeds to get downhill, he did his best work as a scorer around the rim. Averaging 1.01 points per finishing opportunity in the half court [32nd percentile] but showing deft touch on his floater, Cooper’s ability to get downhill with or without a screen and finish through contact from awkward angles drove his scoring numbers this season. His stellar free throw shooting played a role in that as well.
• Scoring 0.80 points per jump shot in the half court [31st percentile], Cooper showed significant room to grow as a perimeter threat as a freshman. He tossed in an occasional three off the dribble, but gets little elevation on his jumper and was somewhat inconsistent with his mechanics. Able to get to the rim prolifically despite his limited success from beyond the arc, Cooper’s ability to develop his jumper only figures to add to all the other things he does well.
• Committing some avoidable turnovers as he generated a huge volume of shots for his teammates, the 19-year-old guard has some room to evolve as a decision-maker, even if some of his mistakes came on unselfish plays last season
• Cooper possesses impressive quickness but gave up size in many high-end matchups last season. Allowing 0.89 points per Isolation possession [67th percentile], he nonetheless showed some instincts poking the ball away from opposing ball handlers. While he was pesky in spots last season, he has room to be more active away from the play to help mitigate his lack of great length.
— Profile by Synergy Sports