Head coach Marty Wilson of the Pepperdine men’s basketball team announced today that Nevada transfer Eric Cooper Jr. will join the Waves. He will sit out the 2016-17 campaign, per NCAA transfer rules, and will then have two seasons to compete for the Waves.
“We are very pleased to add Eric to our program because he brings great experience, skill and the ability to knock down shots,” Wilson said. “Eric is a high-character young man who comes from a great family. He will be a great addition to our basketball family on and off the court.”
Cooper played his prep basketball locally at St. Anthony High School in Long Beach, California, where he was coached by his father. He averaged 22.7 points per game as a senior and earned Cal-Hi Sports Division IV All-State second team and All-CIF Division IV first team honors. After high school, he played one postgraduate season at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
“Pepperdine is close to home and I thought it would be a good opportunity to come back and play here, work on my game and be close to my family,” Cooper said. “In talking to Coach Wilson he said he really wanted me. I just want to win games and win championships, be the best I can be, and help us to be the best team we can be.”
Cooper, a 6-foot-3 guard, played two seasons for Nevada where he averaged 9.3 points and 2.1 rebounds as a 2015-16 sophomore, and led the Wolf Pack with 56 three-pointers made. He averaged 7.3 points as a 2014-15 freshman and led the squad with 38 three-pointers. He played in 69 games at Nevada and made 15 starts.
Cooper scored a career-high 24 points at UNLV this past season, and was in double-figures 19 times as a sophomore. He helped Nevada win the 2016 CBI postseason tournament.
Cooper is the sixth announced newcomer to sign with the Waves. In the fall, the program signed 5-foot-10 point guard Elijah Lee (Houston, Texas/HCYA Warriors/Basketball University), 6-foot-5 wing Knox Hellums (Tomball, Texas/Concordia Lutheran HS/Basketball University), 6-foot-7 forward Nolan Taylor (Keller, Texas/Keller HS/Nike Team Texas Elite) and 6-foot-9 forward Craig LeCesne (Malmo, Sweden/St. James School [Md.]/DC Thunder). Last month, they added 6-foot-2 shooting guard Kaijae Yee-Stephens (Santa Cruz, Calif./Santa Cruz HS). These five will all be incoming freshmen.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services