Photo by John Nakano

This year, there are many new faces on the basketball team, and that includes graduate student Demarco Cox who enrolled at Tech for his last year of eligibility after completing his degree at Ole Miss.

Cox plays center on the basketball team and is studying building construction and facility
management.

Cox is from Yazoo City, Mississippi, and was rated a top 100 basketball by player by several recruiting services.

Not only was he a star on the basketball court but also was heavily recruited as a football prospect by several SEC schools.

Like many athletes, his favorite player is Lebron James, and he enjoys fishing and mud riding.

At Ole Miss, Cox was a productive player off the bench, but this year he is playing the most minutes per game in his career. Last year, Cox played against Tech in the Barclays Classic during Thanksgiving break in 2013.

He was named MVP of the tournament and scored 15 points and had 13 rebounds in Ole Miss’s victory vs. Tech.

Cox is now fully adjusted to living in Atlanta, which is a completely different city from where he went to school in Oxford, Mississippi.

“It wasn’t too big, but kind of because I lived in more of a college town compared to the big city. It’s a little different when you talk about traffic and parking. A lot of times, you have to pay to park here, but in Mississippi, you never have to pay to park,” Cox said.

Adjusting to Tech’s academics for a new student can always have its challenges, but Cox has always had a very good strategy in dealing with academics and his professors he has for class.

“First day of class, I always go talk to the teachers and let them know who I am, what I expect out of the class, tell them I play a sport and that I hope to have a great year in class. Make them feel like I’m interested in being there,” Cox said.

Not many students establish relationships with their teachers, especially at Tech, but Cox believes that doing that is a big part of being able to succeed.

Cox’s role is very important and even though he will only play one year, his impact to the younger players on the team is very important for future success.

Since the start of conference play, he has been the team’s most effective post player and scored a career high 17 points against Notre Dame.

Through 19 games, Cox is averaging 8.6 points and 5.9 rebounds. He is the only center who plays meaningful minutes, and if Cox is in foul trouble, it is a bad sign for the team’s chance of winning the game.

Because of his status as a veteran college basketball player, Cox has looked for more of a leadership role. He is a roommate with two of the younger players on the team, Josh Heath and Tadric Jackson. Jackson is playing in his first year at Tech, and Cox is doing his best to help smooth his transition into the college game.

Cox has begun to take more of a leadership role on the team and be more vocal as ACC play has now been kicked into full gear.

“I’m going to start opening my mouth more. I’ve been quiet, but coach has told me I need to start saying something,” Cox said.

Cox is seeing more touches on the block and has shot a great percentage on low post moves.

“I’m working with the coaches a lot before practice. Me and the bigs coach will do a series around the basket and trying to work on fundamentals. Just working with him to try and get my game where it needs to be,” Cox said.

The last 10 minutes of the second half have not been kind to Tech’s offense. The Jackets struggle to put the ball in the hoop and have a tendency to force a shot. Tech has been in many close games this new year and are just a way from winning an ACC game.

“I just feel like everybody needs to relax. We need to relax and just keep playing how we know we can,” Cox said.

Cox ended up helping  Tech win their first ACC game of the year scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

Cox had said earlier that if the team wins one game he feels several more would follow.

Tech is still looking for their first home win of the 2015 calender year. The team has several more chances and will take out on North Carolina State this Saturday in McCamish Pavilion