Coach Jeff Evans of Amarillo (Texas) Palo Duro High School presently has a couple former players who are making an impact in the Big 12. Presently Evans has a 6-foot-8, 200-pound junior center Michael Cobbins who he feels will be every bit the high major as his predecessors.
First Palo Duro produced Austin Johnson for Oklahoma and then Justin Mason. Now the question is where the rapidly developing Cobbins will end up.
"Mike is heading for that same category as Austin and Justin," said Coach Evans. "Obviously he is a different type player at a different position, but Mike is extremely long and has been a big presence inside for us. He's athletic, has a good shot where he can step out. I think the glimpses of versatility make him attractive to coaches. He can handle the ball in transition and go coast to coast. Next year I expect him to shoot threes for us and be a true inside/outside threat."
Several schools including New Mexico, USC, Texas Tech, Cal State Fullerton and Wichita State have watched Cobbins play this year, and New Mexico and USC were impressed enough to extend offers.
"To their credit New Mexico and USC saw enough to recognize the potential of Mike," said Evans. "He isn't a finished product yet, but he has the tools."
Besides the schools who have been in to see Cobbins, Coach Evans has fielded calls from Texas A&M, Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Stanford, LSU and Marquette.
Beyond Cobbins' physical skills, he also has the character traits to acheive his potential.
"Mike has zero character issues," said Evans. "He takes honors classes, and his teachers love him. He is a straight 'A' student, and he's constantly working on his game."
On the year, Cobbins, who is a lefty, is averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds per game for Palo Duro (19-4). This spring and summer he will run with the New Mexico Force.