Bishop Gorman junior Isaiah Cottrell has known for a few weeks where he’s going to play college basketball.
He let everybody else know Thursday night.
Cottrell, a 6-foot-10-inch power forward ranked No. 63 in the junior class by ESPN, announced his commitment to West Virginia via Twitter. The consensus four-star prospect unveiled eight finalists earlier this year — including Kansas and UNLV — but found a better fit with the Mountaineers, who offered him a scholarship during his sophomore season.
— Isaiah Cottrell (@IsaiahCottrell) June 14, 2019
His commitment is nonbinding and won’t be official until he signs a national letter of intent this fall.
“Having the coaching staff come out and fly across the country to see me play … is pretty (cool),” said Cottrell, who visited the school in September. “I thought they really needed me.”
Cottrell received a scholarship offer from UNLV after the eighth grade and accumulated more than 25 in the past three years. He debuted for Gorman as a freshman during the 2016-17 season and assumed more responsibility in the past two seasons, logging 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game in 2018-19 en route to first-team all-state honors and the Class 4A state championship.
Gorman coach Grant Rice said Cottrell is a relentless worker and that he’s blossoming into a modern big who can protect the rim, post and shoot from the perimeter.
“He’s in the gym at all times. Never wants to stop working. It’s pretty amazing how much he’s in the gym,” Rice said. “He wants to get better and keep expanding his game.”
Cottrell said he considered committing to UNLV, but former coach Marvin Menzies was fired in March and he didn’t built the same rapport with coach T.J. Otzelberger or his staff. West Virginia was ardent in its pursuit of Cottrell, and he said he felt a connection to the campus and coaches and committed a few weeks ago.
“I kind of wanted to get it, not just over early, but be able to keep the stress off of playing in front of all these college coaches,” Cottrell said. “I’m focused on getting better.”