Late Sunday evening, 2013 guard Bakari Copeland rang in his decision. The 6-foot-6 Georgia-native is now off the board and headed to USC-Upstate.
The announcement came in via text shortly after 6:00pm (EST) in favor of the Spartans after additional consideration from UT-Martin andSouthern.
“I wanted to go to a school that had my major and mostly a school that has a great plan for me,” Copeland said.
When asked what it was that drew him to the Spartans’ basketball program, Copeland explain, “What I love about the program is that they are on the rise, their system fits my style of play, they immediately know how to use me when I get there and the players and coaches are really great people.”
That on-the-rise feel that Copeland is speaking about was evident a year ago and is once again expected in 2012-13. USC-Upstate finished the year at 21-13 a season ago and was picked second in the Atlantic Sun Conference by Rant Sports.
Copeland relied heavily on the support of his family during his decision process, saying, “They loved it just as much as I did. If they didn’t like it, then that would have very much affected my decision because we normally always agree with decisions.”
As USC-Upstate continues to improve on the court and as a program, Copeland is very much so looking forward to arriving on campus and beginning his collegiate career. “I want to be an immediate impact guy and to learn a lot from their leader, Torrey Craig. As for the future, my plan is to take the leadership role from which I have on my high school team now and carry that to the next level.”
Copeland will get the opportunity to play with Craig when he arrives for the 2013-14 season. Craig, a junior this season, averaged 16.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game a season ago. Expectations are through the roof this season for Craig as he was dubbed as a Preseason First Team All-Atlantic Sun member by Rant Sports.
With a decision now out of the way, Copeland is now preparing for his final season at Arabia Mountain H.S. (GA). “I’m looking forward to a great season. Personally, I want to make it to the state championship and with that, my personal stats will have to be great, which is what I have been working hard for.”
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse