Travis Ford Talks Recruits
By John Helsley
Back from a spin through the ESPN “Car Wash,” the hip term attached to a full day’s run through the many studio’s — TV and radio — Travis Ford finally had a chance to talk about his latest recruiting class.
The newest Cowboys: 6-foot-9 power forward Michael Cobbins of Amarillo’s Palo Duro High School; 6-4 shooting guard Markel Brown of Peabody Magnet High in Alexandria, La.; 6-4 shooting guard Brian Williams of Glen Oaks High in Baton Rouge, La.; and 6-6 small forward J.P. Olukemi of Vincennes University Junior College.
It’s a group gaining steam as a consensus top-20 recruiting class, ranked as the best in the Big 12 and No. 10 nationally according to HoopScoop.com, and the top class in the league and ranked 18th nationally by Scout.com.
A closer look:
Brown is a four-star recruit, ranked as the No. 24 shooting guard in the country by Scout.com. He averaged 28.5 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocked shots per game as a junior last season.
Also recruited by LSU, Marquette, Michigan, USC and Texas A&M, Brown was a first-team Class 4A All-State selection and was named the Most Valuable Player for District 3-4A. He was also named the All-Cenla MVP in 2009, voted on by local sports writers and consists of all the central Louisiana schools. He also started on the team his sophomore year as the Warhorses went 38-1.
“Markel is a kid I went and saw play and the first five minutes I watched him play I said, ‘that’s our guy’,” Ford said. “He plays for a big-time high school program. He can play the point, the two and also the three. He’s arguably one of the most athletic guys we’ve recruited.
“He’s just like a grasshopper. He can shoot it and has a great in-between game. He will fit into our system well. He can shoot it, which we need because we could be losing our two best shooters next year in James (Anderson) and Obi (Muonelo). He’s very quiet, but I think he will be a fan favorite.”
Cobbins is a consensus four-star and top-50 recruit, ranked as high as 38th nationally by Rivals.com. Scout.com lists him as the 12th-best power forward in the country.
As a junior last season, he averaged 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, leading the Dons to the Region I-4A finals. Also recruited by Memphis, Oklahoma, Missouri and Georgia Tech, he was also named the Player of the Year of the 5A-4A Golden Spread Super Team by the Amarillo Globe-News.
“Michael is someone we’re very excited about,” said Ford. “He’s a very versatile player and before he got hurt, was having a top-10 player-of-the-year season. He came to our elite camp and we fell in love with him.
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