A graduate leader for the Arkansas Razorbacks women’s basketball team is left looking for what’s next after the Razorbacks’ Southeastern Conference tournament loss March 1.
Devin Cosper is leaving her options open in the future but probably wants to stay in basketball, she said.
“Right now I’m deciding on whether to finish my master’s and what position I’d like to take as a graduate assistant or maybe continuing to play,” Cosper said.
During Cosper’s time at Arkansas, the Razorback women’s basketball program went through major changes. She and her teammates were on edge with the coaching change from Jimmy Dykes to Mike Neighbors before the 2017-18 season. Cosper’s meeting with Neighbors reassured her that her role on the team would increase, she said.
“I was comfortable with him after our individual meeting,” Cosper said. “We talked about what he expected from me as a leader for him, and that was something I had looked forward to.”
She thinks she improved in multiple areas of her game, and it was Neighbors and her teammates who spurred the improvement, Cosper said.
“As a player I feel like I’ve matured,” Cosper said. “My defense, offense, ball handling, I just feel like it’s been elevated.”
Cosper thinks she’s been able to grow as a person under Neighbors and his staff, she said.
Cosper was a hard-nosed player who led by example and did whatever it took, junior guard Raven Northcross-Baker said.
“You could tell she had a very mature outlook on the game, and she was very competitive,” Northcross-Baker said. “You could see by the way she played, by the way she talked to her teammates, she really wanted to win.”
Neighbors saw the competitiveness of Cosper throughout the year, but it came to a crescendo Feb. 22 against Texas A&M, which was also senior night for the Hogs.
“I was on the fence about whether to have her come on the floor or come off or to not have her play the fourth quarter,” Neighbors said. “She said ‘I’ll play every minute,’ and that’s just the type of kid she is.”
Cosper is very appreciative of the Bud Walton crowd during her time at Arkansas and the support and motivation fans gave her, she said.
“It was probably one of the biggest crowds I’ve played in front of,” Cosper said. “It makes you strive to be better and give the fans something to be proud of.”
Cosper transferred to Arkansas after spending one year at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. She made an immediate impact during her sophomore year, averaging nine points per game and 3.3 rebounds.
Cosper always had her sights on playing Division I basketball and got her chance with former Arkansas coach Jimmy Dykes.
“I’ve always wanted to play in the SEC, and when I got that offer, I was pretty excited,” Cosper said.
Cosper is going to miss the friendships she made and always having people to hang with, she said.
“I’m going to miss the camaraderie with the athletes,” Cosper said. “Everybody knowing everybody in the general center.”
Cosper posted career averages of 9.8 points per game and 3.7 rebounds in a Razorback uniform.