January 9, 2011

Cooper gives another dominant performance

Russell County High School basketball pushed its winning streak to five games on Thursday night with a win over Tallassee in front of an excited home crowd. But it wasn't the five-game winning streak getting the talk after the game; it was Russell County star and University of Alabama signee Rodney Cooper's 53-point performance in the win. Cooper also finished with double-digit rebounds.

"It has kind of been this way with all of my really high-scoring games this year but I really wasn't aware of how many I had scored until I came out about halfway through the fourth quarter," Cooper said. "I was just kind of out there doing my thing and before I knew it, I had 53 points."

"It's definitely my best game so far this year. I had a couple of 40-point games already this season but it just felt like everything was falling for me tonight. It wasn't really just one or two shots working for me. I think the reason I was able to be so effective was that everything, inside and outside, was working so well for me that the defense couldn't really guess what I was going to do next."

At 10-6 on the season, Russell County has started to find its rhythm the past few weeks and Cooper said he has been working hard to focus on both the season and his classes.

"I'm in pretty good shape as far as grades go. I have a 3.96 and I passed all my exams for last semester. I've got a good ACT score and I really just need to finish well and get ready to enroll at Alabama in June. I'm excited about it."

Cooper said he has kept an eye on the Crimson Tide this season and believes that while the Tide has had its ups and downs this year, the program has shown signs that it is headed in the right direction.

"I have watched a few games this year. I really think Coach Grant has done a good job of getting the guys to run his style, running the floor and playing full court man defense. I think the next place the program needs to go is for Coach Grant to get the right guys in for that system and once he does that, I think it will start to take off."

"Coach Grant told me right after signing day that he can't wait to get me on campus. He and I both think that his style is really perfect for me and it's perfect for the other guys that signed with me. I talk to Levi (Randolph) almost every other day and he and I are both just so excited to get down there and learn from Coach Grant. We both want to try to make Alabama the great program we know it can be."

Cooper is rated the No. 35 shooting guard prospect in the nation for the Class of 2011.

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