A few years back I interviewed then-NCAA basketball newbie Jake Cohen. As the NCAA tournament came around and Davidson University was about to shock the world (which they unfortunately didn't), my phone blew up with friends texting about Cohen's heritage. Cohen played great for the second year in a row and gained major attention. So the obvious question is, will he go in this year's NBA draft?
Davidson coach Seth Greenberg responded to our tweet and believes Cohen could go in the second round but will definitely be invited to a camp. We decided we needed to hear from Cohen before the big day. He graciously agreed to another interview, this time about the tough tournament loss and his exciting future.
1. Two years in a row you suffered two tough NCAA tournament losses (I had Davidson winning both) is there anything you took away from those games?
I learned how fickle basketball can be. We beat Marquette for 39 minutes. They beat us for one and won the game. That's how it goes sometimes.
2. What was the highlight of your college career?
Winning back-to-back conference championships. The elation we got to experience, as a team, when the clock hit all zeroes was incredible. And we got to feel that twice.
3. Throughout the first round my phone blew up with friends asking me if you were Jewish. Do you get extra attention on the court due to your Jewish heritage?
On the court? No. Not at all. Off the court? Yes, a bit. I've gotten some pretty cool letters and fan mail from some younger Jewish kids that don't have too many role models in the basketball world. It was special to get those kinds of things. There are also a good amount of NBA executives and scouts and such that are Jewish, and they all take pride that they have a Jewish hooper at their workout.
4. We spoke to Coach Seth Greenberg who says you are a potential second round pick. How do you see your chances of getting drafted?
It's going to be an uphill challenge. There are a ton of good players out there and only 60 spots. But I'm confident that if I perform well in the upcoming NBA workouts that I have that I will give myself a good shot.
5. If you are not drafted (which we seriously hope you are) will you try to play for a NBA team this summer?
Yes. My agent and I are pretty confident that regardless of how the draft goes, a team will want me to play either in Vegas or Orlando in one of the summer leagues.
6. Are you open to playing oversees? Have you or your agent reached out to anyone in Israel?
Absolutely. I loved my experience playing in Israel a few summers ago. If the NBA doesn't work out, I would love to go back and play in Europe. I think a lot of the teams in Israel are interested in me, but they are waiting to see what happens with the NBA first.
7. What is the best part of your game and something you need to work on?
I think the best part of my game is my versatility. I can shoot the three and also post up and score inside. I also think I do a good job of making my teammates around me better with good passing and screens and the like. I think I need to work on my rebounding aggressively, not just making sure my guy doesn't get it, but attacking the ball on the glass.
8. How has the NBA pre-draft training/process been going?
It's been great. Hectic, but great. I just got back from a week in LA working out with my agent's trainers and fellow college seniors that have signed with Wasserman. The next three weeks have about six NBA workouts scheduled, so I'll really be racking up the frequent flier miles. When it gets too crazy, I try to put things in perspective and recognize how many people would want the opportunity to do what I'm doing.
9. In a dream scenario which team would you like to play for? Would linking up with Stephan Curry be a possibility?
Playing with Stephen would be fantastic. If that happened, I think the Davidson community might explode with excitement. Who knows what is going to happen, all I'm hoping for is one team to like me enough to make an investment in me.