Sbum & all, see below a Q&A with Chris Masse from Williamsport Sun Gazette on Cole. Thanks Chris for helping out with this, much appreciate it.
As you can tell from my questions, I was trying to get at level of competition and perhaps find a reason why he was under the radar, thought perhaps football but I’m not sure about that notion after reading the below. Also, no real official word on scholarship or not, but Chris thinks it is a scholarship for Cole.
1.) Can you describe Cole’s game for Lehigh fans? Strengths & weaknesses?
Cole Renninger is an outstanding all-around player who can beat opponents in a variety of ways. He is a solid outside shooter, but also can beat opponents off the dribble and attack the basket. Cole was usually the marked man in every opponents defensive game plan the last two years but still averaged 20 and 27 points, respectively. The impressive thing was that he also was a team leader in assists. He is a very unselfish player.
2.) Do you see him as a pure point guard at the college game?
I think Cole was a natural two in high school, but I can see him making the transition to playing the point at Lehigh. He has good vision and handles the ball well. He is a smart player too so I think he can easily make the transition and run the offense.
3.) Can you shed any insight into his college recruitment? Lehigh fans had not heard of him being on the radar, so definitely interested in what other schools were in on Cole?
I know Duquesne was interested in Cole and he had some Patriot League interest but not sure on the specifics.
4.) Did his football success play a part in perhaps him being under recruited for basketball? Did colleges think he was pursuing football instead of hoops?
I don’t think that had much to do with it. I think more of it had to do with where he played. Central Mountain, and nearby District 4, is not a usual hotbed for high school basketball. It is rare that the region produces Division I players so I think that makes it harder to get on the radar for Division I schools.
5.) It seems most hoops recruiting takes place at the AAU level, was Cole participating in AAU hoops or did football training/practice preclude him from taking part in summer AAU ball?
I think Cole played some AAU ball but I am not positive about that. I think he was able to play until August and then started focusing on football.
6.) Can you share any thoughts on level of hoops in Central PA league that Cole played in? I know he was in 4A level, are there many Division 1 hoopers in that league?
Cole definitely stood out because, as I mentioned above, this is not a recruting bastion. That does not mean the level of competition is weak, quite the contrary. I just think it’s harder to get noticed in rural Central PA. Cole did play in a difficult league and played against some Division I players, especially when CM played Williamsport and State College. He played well in both those games and showed that he can compete at that elite level.
7.) Do you know if Cole is on a full scholarship at Lehigh or is he walking on to the team?
From what I heard, Cole received a scholarship.