Top-ranked forward signs with Auburn

One of the nation's premier prospects in the 2010 class, Luke Cothron, a 6-foot-9, 218-pound power forward attending Flora Macdonald Academy in Red Springs, N.C., has signed a National Letter of Intent with Auburn, new head coach Tony Barbee announced Thursday.
Cothron gave his commitment to Barbee following a half-day trip to the Plains last weekend and announced his choice publicly Tuesday.
"After seeing Auburn, after visiting and meeting the coaches, the people, my decision was easy," Cothron said after announcing his commitment. "I love it down at Auburn. I feel comfortable there and I think Coach Barbee will take the program to another level."
Cothron, who is the No. 45 overall recruit in the country and No. 11 power forward according to, averaged 31 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks per game as a senior.
High school highlights include a 43-point, 17-rebound performance as a junior, and scoring 41 points and 19 rebounds against Word of God Christian Academy and former Kentucky All-American John Wall. Cothron helped the Cougars to a 22-10 record and the state playoffs in 2008-09.
"Luke gives us a different level of talent," Barbee said in a statement released by the University. "He is an immediate difference maker for us along the frontline. He is a guy who has the ability to score the ball in a variety of ways inside and outside. He has a knack for being around the ball which makes him a great rebounder.
"We are happy to have Luke join our Auburn Family, but he also fits into the family structure in the things that matter to me in that he wants to be a part of a winner in building something special. He is going to go a long way in helping us reach those goals while at the same time, we will help him reach his."
Cothron is the second highly-recruited prospect to sign with Auburn since Barbee's arrival in late May. Josh Langford, the state's No. 1 prospect according to The Birmingham News, is a 6-foot-7, 207-pound small forward from Lee in Huntsville. Langford averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds.
"Josh and I are like family," Cothron said following his commitment Tuesday. "He's real excited about me going to Auburn. So am I. I think we are going to do big things. We are definitely going to put Auburn Basketball back on the map.
"I know Auburn is a football school, but we're going to bring basketball back. I hope the Auburn fans are ready."