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Misc Vikings Vikings Archive Cleveland State's Norris Cole Prepares for the NBA Draft
Written by Tom Mieskoski

Tom Mieskoski


It has been 25 years since a Cleveland State player has been drafted in the NBA.

The last CSU player to get drafted was Clinton Smith, who was selected in the fourth round (98th overall) by the Golden State Warriors in 1986.

Only four CSU Vikings have played in a NBA game.

They are Franklin Edwards, Darren Tillis, Smith, and most recently, Cedric Jackson, who went undrafted in 2009 and then was called up from the NBA Development League to have brief stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards.

Edwards and Tillis were both first round draft picks. The Philadelphia 76ers took Edwards in the first round (22nd overall) in 1981 and the Boston Celtics took Tillis in the first round (23rd overall) in 1982.

Norris Cole is hoping to follow in their footsteps and hear his name called during the NBA draft on June 23.

The 6'1" point guard from Dayton has been training for the draft in Atlanta with Ohio State's David Lighty and under the supervision of former NBA player Sedric Toney.

On Sunday, Cole worked out for the Charlotte Bobcats. He has already worked out with the Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and is planning to work out with eight more teams with the next stop being in New York.

"I'm just doing what I do best," Cole told on Sunday about what he wants to showcase in these workouts. "The worst thing you can do is get out there and try to do something new because they know who you are and they seen you play (before). So I just get out there and show them what I'm about."

Cole is projected to be selected in the late first round, or early in the second round, according to, who compares Cole to Toney Douglas of the New York Knicks.

David Aldridge of rates Cole the 10th-best point guard in the draft and rates Cole the 49th-best prospect in the draft.

Some draft experts have criticized whether Cole is a point guard, a combo guard, or is better suited as a shooting guard. Cole says that is not an issue.

"I'm a pure point guard," said Cole. "I've been raised up to this point to be a pure point guard. That's what the teams are looking at me to be a point guard and a floor general."

Cole, who once had a 41-point, 20-rebound and nine-assist outburst against Youngstown State in February, averaged 21.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game last season for the Vikings and was named the Horizon League's Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He shot 43.9 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from the three-point line.

"They would like to see my range a little bit more on the three," Cole said about what he has been working on. "That will come by getting more reps."

According to ESPN's Chad Ford, Cole's "been really rising on a number of draft boards" since the NBA draft combine in Chicago last month.

Ford wrote: "When you look at his body of work in college over the past couple of years, there's a lot to be impressed with. He could be a sleeper first-round selection."

Norris Cole photo courtesy of

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