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2014-15 Marquette Basketball Player Preview: #5 Sandy Cohen

We get the yearly player previews started with Marquette's lone true freshman on the roster.

This is the downside of freshmen. You have to make do with pictures that also include Wally Ellenson (left) and Matt Carlino (right).
This is the downside of freshmen. You have to make do with pictures that also include Wally Ellenson (left) and Matt Carlino (right).
Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

If you've been around Anonymous Eagle long enough, you've noticed our yearly player preview series for men's basketball.  In the past, we've gone with a concept of "Minimum Expectations/In Our Wildest Dreams/In Our Worst Nightmare" model for what the baseline for each player is for the coming season, plus where we think they could achieve or lag behind.

With new head coach Steve Wojciechowski running the show, things get a little complicated.  It's hard to have minimum expectations for each player when we really don't know how Wojo will see fit to use them in the system that he's running... which we also don't know a lot about at this point.

So we're changing the system up.  Starting here with Mr. Cohen, we're deploying a new set of criteria:

  • What I Think We'll See
  • What I Want To See
  • What I Don't Want To See

It's a little more open ended, so there's a bit more freedom to explore what we're thinking about each guy.  This might stick around going forward, so be sure to either email us - anon.eagle@gmail.com - or comment on the posts to let us know what you think.

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Sandy Cohen comes to Marquette from Seymour (WI) High School.  He led the Thunder to two conference championships, including a 23-2 record his senior year while averaging 21.3 points per game.  He finished as a consensus top 100 recruit, settling in at 83rd on ESPN.com, 87th on the Scout rankings, and 97th by Rivals.

Cohen is the lone recruit from the 2014 class that signed to play for Buzz Williams that remained committed to Marquette  when Williams departed for Virginia Tech.  There was initially some tumult in whether or not Cohen had been released, or would ask for his release, but he was won over by Wojciechowski and now constitutes one-half of Wojo's freshman class for this season.

What I Think We'll See

Given the current constitution of the roster, I think we're going to see a lot more of Sandy Cohen that we expected to see 7 months ago.  With just nine active players between now and December 15, Marquette will need contributions from every member of the team, and that includes Cohen.  At 6'6", Cohen's in a tie for the third tallest guy on the team right now, and until Luke Fischer is cleared to play, Cohen and Juan Anderson are the second tallest guys on the team.  I don't know if Cohen's physically able to withstand the defense required to defend guys like Tennessee-Martin's Myles Taylor (6'7", 250 lb.) at this point in his development, but anything he can contribute to guarding anyone on the floor is going to be welcome.

Scoring is almost secondary of importance to what Cohen can add at this point.  With Deonte Burton and Matt Carlino, not to mention guys like Duane Wilson and Jajuan Johnson who have to be ready to explode to show what they can do, Wojo's not going to be calling Cohen's number on offense all that much.  But with the pressing defense that Wojciechowski wants to deploy, minutes from Cohen to keep everyone fresh are going to be important.

What I Want To See

Over the summer, I recapped episodes of the first season of The O.C., because of the name shared by both the freshman basketball player and Seth Cohen's dad.  The long term point was to actually watch the show to build up a storage of jokes and references about Sandy Cohen, because, really, you can't let an opportunity like that go past you.  While there were a few things that you could stretch to make them relate to basketball, there was one thing that came up that isn't a stretch: Yoga-lates.

It was some weird, perverse combination of yoga and Pilates that Kirsten Cohen was subjecting herself to, and Sandy spent an entire cold open of an episode saying it over and over because he found it funny.  Thus, much like Deonte Burton and "Bane" last year, all I want to see this year from the Sandy Cohen in blue and gold is the opportunity to make "YOGALATES!" a recurring gag on Twitter and in the comment section of our Game Threads.  Defense, great hustle plays, alley-oop dunks, one handed monster jams, cold hearted three pointers with a hand in his face, ANYTHING.

What I Don't Want To See

Really, it's just the opposite of what I think that we will see.  Let me explain it this way: Think of three words to describe Juan Anderson's physical appearance.  You used "lanky," or "thin," or "slim," or something similar, right?  According to the official MU roster, Anderson and Cohen are the same height, but Anderson outweighs Cohen by THIRTY-FIVE POUNDS, 215 to 180.  It's completely within the realm of possibility that Cohen's slight frame at this point in his physical development isn't up to the task of defending guys with a significant weight advantage on him, and he's relegated to second or third string minutes at guard or wing while Marquette is already pretty deep at those positions.  I want to see him succeed at contributing, mind you, I don't want to see him languishing on the bench on a team that doesn't have the depth to allow a guy to languish on the bench.