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Powerhouse's Elliot Cole drives the ball past Young's Cameron Woodyard. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
One thing first: Power House senior Elliott Cole is not the next Anthony Davis.
He is pretty darn good though. Especially for a guy no one has ever heard of.
Cole sat on the bench for three years at St. Joseph. This summer he realized he was going to have to make a move if he wanted to realize his dream of playing college basketball.
“St. Joe’s just wasn’t the place for me,” Cole said. “It didn’t fit my style of play.”
So Cole, a player no one had ever heard of, went to Power House, a school no one had ever heard of.
As soon as the season started, Cole started scoring points: 35, 33, 49, 41. Then last week he dropped 47 points on Crane.
The six-foot guard started hearing from colleges at that point. Chicago State has offered and Eastern Illinois, Northern Illinois, Illinois State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Western Michigan and Wyoming have all shown interest.
Cole is an academic qualifier, so the sky is the limit for him.
“My dream school is Kentucky,” Cole said. “I really like the way [coach John Calipari’s] teams play. But I know I’m not at that level yet. I need to keep working, I think I can get to that level.”
On Monday, Cole faced his biggest challenge so far this season. The Panthers, who play at Homan Square Park, hosted top-ranked Young.
Jahlil Okafor, Young’s star center, said he hadn’t heard any of the rumblings in the city about Power House’s high-scoring guard.
“I didn’t really notice anything about him before today,” Okafor said.
Cole did his best to make Okafor take notice, even tackling Okafor at one point after a fast break play. Cole was given an intentional foul, but it wasn’t dirty and he tried to help Okafor back to his feet afterwards.
The game was a 103-46 blowout by Young and Cole was the entire focus of the Dolphins. He got off to a slow start, scoring just two points in the first quarter. That’s all Power House managed in the quarter as well.
But then the sly guard found his footing, scoring seven in the second quarter, nine in the third and six in the fourth to finish with 24 points and four assists.
He shot 9-for-28 from the field, including 5-for-19 from three. There were more than few wild chucking shots, a good amount of no-look passes that never found a home. Frankly, Cole was responsible for a great deal of Power House’s 22 turnovers.
In his defense, it was obviously a frustrating game, with his team out-manned at every position by the stacked Dolphins.
“[Cole] shot a lot, but he was really good,” Okafor said. “He’s definitely fast.”
There was pleny of potential shown though. Cole can shoot it from three, he’s quick and crafty and strong to the basket. He can handle the ball.
It’s easy to see why St. Joseph coach Gene Pingatore wasn’t willing to hand the reins over to Cole, but he’s the perfect fit for the Panthers and coach Jermaine Johnson.
Cole is fun to watch, high-scoring and explosive. He’s got the confident swagger a team needs in their first year in the powerful Red West. He’s the perfect player to get your new school on the map and in the newspaper.