AUBURN, AL - One of the nation's premier prospects, Luke Cothron, a 6-foot-9, 218-pound power forward from Huntsville has signed a national letter of intent to attend Auburn University and play basketball in 2010-11, head coach Tony Barbee announced Thursday.
Cothron, who is the No. 45 overall recruit in the country and No. 11 power forward by Rivals.com, averaged 31 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks per game as a senior last year for Flora Macdonald Academy in Red Springs, N.C., for coach Derrick Bond.
He totaled 43 points and 17 rebounds in a 95-73 win over Quality Education Academy as a junior and then had 41 points and 19 rebounds against Word of God Christian Academy and former Kentucky All-American John Wall. Cothron helped the Cougars to a 22-10 record and the state playoffs in 2008-09.
"Luke gives us a different level of talent," said Barbee.
"He is an immediate difference maker for us along the frontline. He is a guy who has the ability to score the ball in a variety of ways inside and outside. He has a knack for being around the ball which makes him a great rebounder. "
"We are happy to have Luke join our Auburn Family, but he also fits into the family structure in the things that matter to me in that he wants to be a part of a winner in building something special. He is going to go a long way in helping us reach those goals while at the same time, we will help him reach his."
Cothron totaled 27 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for Flora Macdonald in a 73-66 win over West Charlotte this past season.
Possessing a 31-inch vertical jump, he notched 27 points and 11 rebounds and went 3-of-6 from 3-point range in a 96-84 victory over Forsyth Country Day.
Cothron is the second top-ranked recruit Barbee has signed in two weeks as Auburn*s new head basketball coach. Josh Langford, the state of Alabama*s No. 1 ranked player, is a 6-foot-7, 207-pound small forward who averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds Huntsville Lee High School this past season.
Cothron signed with Auburn over Kentucky, UConn and Tennessee among many others.