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Sharife Cooper 2021 NBA Draft Scouting Report/Profile

Sharife Cooper
Sharife Cooper (2) takes up the ball during Auburn’s game at Arkansas on Jan. 20, 2021. The Tigers lost 75-73. Credit: Walt Beazley/Arkansas Athletics

Sharife Cooper 2021 NBA Draft Scouting Report/Profile

One of the most intriguing players and biggest question marks in this year’s draft is Sharife Cooper. The point guard from Auburn was very impressive in his Freshman year. He averaged 20 points 8 assists and 4.3 rebounds a game in 12 games. His talent, effort, and determination are what have led him to become a first-round prospect. However, there are a few things holding him back from being projected even higher. Let’s talk about his strengths first.


Cooper’s best strengths lie in his floor general skills, which combined with his ability to score make him a total offensive weapon. He’s always able to find the open man, even when he’s driving full speed towards the basket. When he’s able to beat his man, defenses need to watch out for the lob, which he throws to perfection with ease. Additionally, his quickness and agility allow him to get to any spot on the court. This is what makes him so efficient at breaking down defenses.

His finishing skills are also very impressive. He’s strongly adept at scoring through contact, as displayed consistently at Auburn. Cooper is a solid free-throw shooter, shooting 82.5% from the line his Freshman year. He has a jumper that definitely needs improvement but should come along as he develops more.


Standing at 6-1, 165 pounds, Sharife Cooper is definitely undersized at the point guard position. His lack of explosive leaping ability and a big wingspan will force him to play at his size or lower. This will create problems at the rim, where he has struggled to finish against the tallest of defenders.

His shooting skills, specifically behind the arc, will need some work before he can become a dynamic scorer in the NBA. He shot 22.8% on 5 attempts a game from deep, and with the NBA 3-line almost 3 feet further back, you can expect this number to go down in his rookie season. He struggles without the ball in his hands and doesn’t work off the ball to get open for shots.

On the defensive end, Cooper has the ability to stick in front of someone full court but again doesn’t have the size to stay in front of most guys. If he’s ever stuck in a mismatch off a switch, it will be easy points for his opponents.


In summary, Sharife Cooper is a great talent but may lack the physical attributes to be successful in the NBA. If he’s able to develop a consistent shot, it’ll allow him to be effective on the offensive end. Without a shot, like Ben Simmons, he’ll be limited to being someone who will be able to make plays with his court vision and passing but won’t be a threat to score every time down the floor. This will limit his overall effectiveness.

Projection: Mid-to-Late First Round Pick

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