By Phil Anastasia
Mike Cohen said he never expected to play college basketball in the Southeastern Conference.
But that's where Cohen, a rising junior at Bishop Eustace Prep, is headed after committing to Auburn University on a basketball scholarship on Friday night.
"I never thought I would be recruited at this level," Cohen said Sunday from the college in Alabama. "It's kind of surprise to me. But they offered and I accepted."
The 5-foot-10 Cohen averaged 10 points and shot 49 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the foul line as a sophomore at Bishop Eustace.
He took his game to another level this summer, especially as a point guard and floor general, according to Bishop Eustace coach Bob Falconiero.
"He took a big step," Falconiero said. "I told him after one game this summer, 'That's the best game you ever played for me.'"
Cohen, who lives in Voorhees, said he was first contacted by Auburn assistant coach Harris Adler, a former La Salle assistant, at the Fab 48 AAU tournament in Las Vegas in July.
Cohen played for the New Jersey Gym Rats in the tournament. One of his teammates was Findlay Prep (Nevada) rising senior Horace Spencer, a Philadelphia native and one of Cohen's close friends.
The 6-foot-8 Spencer, a four-star recruit by rivals.com, also committed to Auburn on Friday. Cohen said that he and Spencer travelled together this weekend to Auburn on an unofficial recruiting visit.
"We both decided to commit," Cohen said of Spencer.
Cohen calls Auburn coach Bruce Pearl "a really good guy," and said he was planning to study engineering at Auburn.
"It's a great opportunity," Cohen said.
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