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ESPN's Jay Bilas Names D.J. Cooper As Best Passer In the Nation

Cooper is averaging 8.2 assists per game this season

Jan. 29, 2013

Cooper-Bilas ESPN.com Feature | Ohio-Akron ESPN "Places To Be" | "Forde Minutes" Ohio-Akron | CBSSports.com D.J. Cooper Piece

ATHENS, Ohio - ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas named Ohio University point guard D.J. Cooper as the top passer in the country as part of his Weekly Report segment.

Bilas ranked Cooper, a 2013 Cousy Award Finalist, ahead of Michigan’s Trey Burke (No. 6), LIU-Brooklyn’s Jason Brickman (No. 5), Saint Mary’s Matthew Dellavedova (No. 4), UCLA’s Larry Drew II (No. 3) and Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams (No. 2).

“Cooper can score, he can dish, does a great job off the pick and roll and always seems to make the right decision,” Bilas said. “He can absolutely pass it, but more important than that, he can absolutely play. He’s among the best point guards in the country.”

Cooper is in the midst of a stellar senior season with the Bobcats. He ranks third nationally with 8.2 assists per game and he leads Ohio in points (14.6), assists (8.2) and steals (2.1). He has been named MAC East Division Player of the Week four times over the past six weeks.

For his career, Cooper currently ranks 20th on the all-time NCAA Division I assists list and is 14 steals away from moving into 25th place on the all-time NCAA Division I steals ledger. He is on pace to become the only player in the history of college basketball to record 2,000 points, 900 assists, 500 rebounds and 300 steals in a career.

The Cooper feature is part of a growing national media presence for the Bobcats this week. ESPN.com’s Eamon Brennan selected Saturday’s Ohio-Akron game as one of the “10 Places To Be” in college basketball this week, while YahooSports.com columnist Pat Forde included the Ohio-Akron game in this week’s edition of the “Forde Minutes,” as one of the featured contests of his “Super Weekend” of college hoops. On Wednesday, Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com wrote a national piece on Cooper's prominent place in the NCAA men's basketball record books.

Ohio (15-5, 6-0 MAC) returns to action on Wednesday (Jan. 30) at 7 p.m. versus Eastern Michigan (10-10, 3-3 MAC) inside the Convocation Center. “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the game live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with video and audio streaming available on OhioBobcats.com. Pre-game audio coverage begins 30 minutes prior to tip (6:30 p.m.).