Roster News

NCAA rules in favor of Sandy Cohen

cohen - uwgb.jpgThe Green Bay Phoenix 2017/2018 roster got a big boost from the NCAA on Friday morning.

Sandy Cohen will now be able to play this season after the NCAA ruled in favor of Green Bay’s appeal to grant him an additional season of eligibility.

The Marquette transfer will still have to sit out the one full year due to NCAA transfer rules – a process that began at the beginning of second semester last year – but Cohen is now able to play as soon as the first semester ends in mid-December this season.

His first game with the Phoenix will be against Bowling Green at the Resch Center on December 21st.

“This is great news for both Sandy and our program,” head coach Linc Darner said in a statement released by the school. “He has been with our team now for almost a year and has been working extremely hard on the court, in the weight room and in the classroom.”

“We can’t wait to get working with our team next week and we look forward to having Sandy as a part of our program for the next two years,”

Cohen needed to appeal to the NCAA since he appeared in three games for Marquette last season, playing a total of 19 minutes. That would have counted as his junior season leaving him with just one year of eligibility remaining. He will now have two seasons of eligibility remaining, though he must still sit out the first semester this year leaving him with 1.5 seasons with the Phoenix.

He announced his decision to transfer from Marquette on November 20 and decided to join Green Bay a few weeks later on December 6th. He reportedly also considered Horizon League rival Oakland but ultimately decided to return home to Green Bay.

As a high school player at nearby Seymour High School, Cohen was a consensus 4-star, top-100 nationally ranked recruit – ranking 83rd in the country by ESPN, 87th by Scout, and 97th by Rivals. He averaged 21.3 points per game in 2013-2014 as a senior and led the Thunder to a 23-2 record.

He chose Marquette over scholarship offers from Purdue, Iowa, Minnesota, Virginia, and Creighton among several others – including Green Bay – according to Verbal Commits.

As a freshman at Marquette in 2015, Cohen appeared in all 31 games for the Golden Eagles, making 7 starts. In 15.0 minutes per game he scored 3.8 points and grabbed 1.8 rebounds.

He burst onto the scene the beginning of his sophomore season averaging 8.5 points and 3.6 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per game through the first 18 games of the season and started 15 games. He saw his minutes and production drop off after that, however, scoring just 2.6 points in 16.6 minutes per game in the final 14 games of the season.

Continuing the trend, last year his role on the team changed even more and his playing time was significantly reduced to almost nothing and it was time for a change.

“The biggest part was just I wasn’t in a place where I could reach my full potential as a basketball player and hopefully take that next step in my game,” Cohen told the Marquette Wire last November. “My dream and my goal has always been to play at the highest level. I just felt here at Marquette I wasn’t in the right situation for that to happen.”

“Being a junior and not being able to play much is not really what I envisioned and not really what I thought would happen. It pretty much comes down to playing time.”

Cohen has been with the Green Bay team since December and has been taking classes at UW-Green Bay since January.

He is a significant addition both in terms of talent as well as just being another player that Darner can use this year. Green Bay only has a total of 11 eligible players on the roster this season as San Jose State transfer Cody Schwartz sits out the year due to NCAA transfer rules. Sophomore guard Avery Brown was dismissed from the team last month.

If the waiver was not granted, Cohen had planned on sitting out the entire 2017/2018 season as a redshirt year in order to maintain one full season of eligibility for the 2018/2019 season.

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