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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Karl Cochran sets sights on professional basketball career 

Karl+Cochran+has+decided+to+pursue+a+career+in+professional+basketball%2C+whether+that+be+in+the+U.S.+or+abroad.
Karl Cochran has decided to pursue a career in professional basketball, whether that be in the U.S. or abroad.

AS SEASON ENDS SENIOR GUARD PREPARES FOR A NEW CHALLENGE—

After a four-year career that left his name throughout Wofford record books, senior guard Karl Cochran has decided to pursue a career in basketball. While his goal is certain, the next few months will be a whirlwind for Cochran as he finds out whether he will play professionally in the U.S. or elsewhere. Cochran is a decorated player, named an honorable mention AP All-American his senior year and a finalist for mid- major player of the year, ut moving to the pro game will mean some changes for his game. It also means a change in position from shooting guard to point guard. Cochran says that he knew the change was coming.

“I’m totally committed to playing point guard. I’m six feet tall, and there are shooting guards out there who are six foot eight.”

Cochran’s got a chance to practice playing his new position in a real competition, when he was invited to the Portsmouth Invitational (PIT). The PIT is a tournament for the 64 best seniors in college basketball. The tournament is frequented by NBA general managers and over 200 scouts from leagues around the world. Cochran found out about the opportunity during his spring break and jumped at the opportunity to further showcase his skills.

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“It was a different experience. I would say I played decently. The first day I was nervous and played well. The second day I didn’t play well, then the third day I played great. So it really averaged out.”

Cochran also enjoyed the chance to play against high- major talent from schools like Villanova, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State.

Leaving his spring break early was just another part of the preparations for professional basketball, which have become hectic for Cochran.

“It is really busy. It seems like once the season ends you are going to get to rest. But this time once the sea- son ends your workload increases by 10.”

While a lot of that work has come in the gym, Cochran also has been busy with making off-court decisions that will have a huge effect on his early career.

“You definitely have to have the right people in your corner. You’re doing it as a job so you want to get paid, but one of the most important things my agent has told me is sometimes it’s not always good to follow the money.”

Cochran says that he won’t necessarily chase the highest paying option. He is more interested in finding a situation that will help him grow as a player and show his ability. Cochran says he will be careful when choosing his team

“You know it isn’t worth the money if you are only getting to play five minutes per game somewhere, when for a little less you could be playing for 30 minutes per game.”

Cochran would love the chance to play in the NBA like former Southern Conference stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Martin, and Andrew Goudelock, but he would also be happy to start a career in the Euro league. Cochran also says that he would prefer a consistent job with a European team to the uncertainty that often accompanies a career in the NBA Developmental league (D-League). Given the choice that he has to choose between D-League and Europe, Cochran has a plan.

“I would rather go to Europe. It would be a great experience. The D-league is great because you have the chance of getting called up. But you barely make any money. Also the call-ups are only 10 days usually followed by another 10-day contract, so basically you have to play great for 20 days straight to stick around.”

Cochran says he prefers the consistent playing time that a European team could offer.

“In the Euro league once you sign your contract you have stability. There are no guessing games.”

Whatever Cochran’s future holds he will know about it sooner rather than later.

“Things are going to pick up really fast once I graduate. I will know what I’m doing by mid-June or early July.”

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