By Joe Henricksen

York's David Cohn looks just fine

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By Joe Henricksen

He may not possess the typical "baller look." He's the skinny kid with the slight frame, checking in at a buck fifty-five. As you watched him this past year, he was just the young, floppy-haired kid who looked like he had just exited the stage as his boy band finished up a concert.

Looks can be deceiving, though, which is why York's David Cohn is among the Hoops Report's top ranked players in the loaded Class of 2013 in Illinois.

The Hoops Report took some shots from some people when Cohn jumped many other bigger, well-known names in the much-talked about junior class -- including those on Cohn's very own Illinois Wolves club team -- when it publicly released its Class of 2013 player rankings early in the fall. But it's simple, really. Cohn is a better player, even a better prospect, than many of those "big" names. Cohn may be undervalued and overlooked by many, but he's clearly among the top 20 prospects in the class (No. 15 in the Hoops Report) -- and rising quickly.

Cohn, a sharp and polished teenager in conversation and a competitor on the court, isn't a fool. He knows exactly what people see when they get their first glance of him on the floor.

"I hear it just about every day from someone," Cohn says with a laugh when asked about his skinny frame. "I'm used to it. But it doesn't get to me. It gives me an edge, and I kind of use it to my advantage."

The looks are deceiving because Cohn surprises people -- and defenders -- with his speed and athleticism that you just don't expect. He makes an impact with those surprising athletic attributes, whether it be when he blows by a defender in the open court or throws down an eyebrow-raising dunk.

As Cohn's jumper has gone from consistent to a downright weapon, defenders have been forced to come up on him, which has allowed him to scoot right by off the dribble with his underrated quickness. He possesses an outstanding skill level, is strong off the dribble in the open floor and has an ability to knock down shots with a quick, accurate pull-up jumper and shooting range out to 20-plus feet. He's an offensive force.

"He can put the ball in the hole," says York coach Tom Kleinschmidt. "But more than anything, he's a throwback in that he's a genuine gym rat. Kids today want all the recognition, but they won't put in the work. With David, I have to tell him to leave the gym."

When you talk about players ready to burst on the scene, Cohn is the Hoops Report's pick this winter in the Class of 2013. Last season as a sophomore, Cohn played the part of Will Sullivan's sidekick. Then he missed the all-important July evaluation period with a wrist injury, which obviously prevented college coaches from getting their first genuine look and for his stock to rise in the eyes of evaluators and others.

"Yes, it was frustrating and I did sulk for a week or two," says Cohn of sitting out July with an injury. "I quickly realized, however, it wasn't the end of the world. I felt blessed that it wasn't a more serious injury, like an ACL that would have kept me out for nine months. And I feel blessed that it healed the way it did."

Expect Kleinschmidt, who was an assistant last season and in his first season as head coach, to put the ball in Cohn's hands and provide playmaking and scoring opportunities for the 6-2 guard. Cohn is capable of playing the point and off the ball, so finding ways for him to score shouldn't be a problem.

"I will use him at both guard spots," says Kleinschmidt. "He's great in the open court, he can come off screens, shoot with range. He has a complete offensive game."

The Hoops Report has made no secret about an infinity for players who have a natural ability to put the ball in the hole, which is one reason the Hoops Report thinks so highly of Cohn. Sprinkle in just enough speed and athleticism with the scoring ability and knack to play both guard spots, and it's easy to see why Cohn will be a coveted player by college coaches -- eventually.

There have been a few, finally, that have taken notice and been impressed with Cohn's fall workouts. UIC, Colorado State, Illinois State and Valparaiso are the four schools that have offered. But expect many more mid-major and mid-major plus programs to be involved before the end of this season.

Cohn, who is also a terrific student, appreciates and respects the four schools that have offered. And he's been in contact with a couple of schools from the Ivy League, which he says is a possibility as well as academics will play a big role in his decision.

"From a basketball standpoint, the relationship with the head coach and coaching staff is second to none," says Cohn of the things he's looking for in the recruiting process. "I'm looking for the whole package, with great academics being very important."

Now Cohn is dedicating himself to adding a little meat to his frame in preparation for college in a couple of years and to quiet those naysayers.

"I'm working on it," Cohn says laughing after a recent practice about yet another weight question. "I've added five pounds and I want to add 10 more. I'm heading to lift weights right now."

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13 Comments

Yes Joe! You are right on, which is why I come here to keep it real. I have seen Cohn isn't even ranked in the top 35 players in the class earlier this fall on another site. What a joke. He's legit. Let the others keep hyping and talking about the same kids they did last year and the year before.

This kid is completely overrated. He cant play with nunn or any of the other kids who are ranked above him in his class. Im sure he is a great student, but thats where it ends.

Brilliant post by Jerome Bettis' brother, Stephen. Compare the kid to the No. 2 ranked player in the class and one of the top 30 players in the country. One player is a mid-major, the other a high-major. Next post, please, give it some thought.

Haven't seen the kid play. But if he is among the top 20 or 25 players in the class and has multiple mid-major offers before he even plays his junior year, I think the proof is there Bettis, not your "he can't play" insight.

Im a big time fan of joe and his work and never comment on anything. But the comment above me is just speechless. Just sounds like a jealous friend, rival, or hate to say it...parent. Where is Nunn's name ever mentioned in this article?? Joe doesnt even come close to saying david is in that elite level where Nunn is. Thats out of left field?? The kid has 4 offers from some pretty darn good schools WITHOUT playing in the hyped July month. What does that say? So how can he be overrated?? Just dont hate on someone who has proof to back it up with numerous offers

joe what sight can you go to to find out what games are playing on a particular night ? sun times used to list--don't seem to this year... " your season " site doesn't have it either unless I am missing it. just trying to catch some games. thanks for the great hs info as always !

Love the after the fact that goes on out there. I see Cohn just jumped into top 20 in another site rankings more than 15 spots in a month. Wow! Quite a month he must have had. Did they watch him that much in the last month? Or was it because some colleges offered him? Or another site like this had him ranked high earlier this fall? Thanks Joe for keeping it real.

Cohn is a typical west suburban overhyped player. nothing special about the kid. there are plenty kids better than him in his class. He's not a shooter, or a big time scorer. Ive seen him play on a few occasions and wasnt impressed at all. Orris can play, Rompza a few years ago was a major talent. Whats so special about him? I just dont see it.

Lets be honest, Im white and even i know this kid is only being mentioned, because of the color of his skin. And no, I have not children playing at this level. Just a guy who loves hoops.

Ditch the "White" comment. White kids generally don't get respect just because they are white! I played D1 ball, I've seen the kid play alot, he's the real deal. College coaches see it too. It's alot tougher to be a white kid playing ball these days. I've even had college coaches say they couldn't recruit a kid because he was "white". Sad but true. Back to the topic, the kid is a player against anyone. Go watch him several times and you will agree.

kid can play, just a fact. but the one thing that is gonna hold him back is his attitude and selfishness. Tends to whine if things don't go his way and at the size he's at a lot of calls wont.

Dave cohn scored 64 points in a spring league game. If thats not a scorer then I dont know what is. And also isnt the A+ student like you think. middle of the road student, great basketball player thats why he has the offers. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on November 16, 2011 5:35 AM.

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