For Florida State Seminoles forward Phil Cofer, the most important thing currently is being with his family. Cofer was delivered terrible news after his team’s opening-round 2019 NCAA Tournament win over Vermont. Michael Cofer, the redshirt senior’s father, had passed away and he was told in the locker room after.
Cofer was not playing in the game due to a foot injury and remained out in the following game against Murray State. He will also be out for Florida State’s Sweet 16 matchup with the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and as George Willis of the New York Post revealed, Cofer will remain in Atlanta with his family, per head coach Leonard Hamilton.
“We flew from Hartford to Atlanta and sat down with his parents, [and] with the arrangements and the responsibilities that he had as a family, they just felt it was best for him to be there and be part of the arrangements and everything,” Hamilton said.
It’s certainly understandable that Cofer stays with his family currently, and thoughts go out to them in this tough time.
Phil Cofer’s Status
While Cofer’s injury held him out for the opener, it’s unknown if he would have been able to return for the second round, but he was with the team at that point. Regardless, one thing we know on the injury front is that Cofer will not return immediately and it appears FSU would need to make it to the Final Four to get the forward back.
As Tom Lang of ESPN revealed, Hamilton stated that he doubts “very seriously” the forward will be with the team during the current trip (Sweet 16 and possibly Elite Eight).
“We will not have Phil Cofer available for this Thursday… I doubt very seriously we’ll have him on this trip at all. So in order for Phil to get back with us and be able to be a part of the team, I’m sure we’re going to have to get to the Final Four.” Hamilton stated, via Lang on Twitter.
Redshirt freshman Raiquan Gray will likely continue to step into Cofer’s role in the rotation.
Phil Cofer’s 2018-19 Season
Cofer’s numbers were down a bit from last year, but he’s battled injuries this season at various points. Over 35 games during the 2017-18 season, the 6-foot-8 forward averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and shot 48.6 percent from the field. He also logged 29.3 minutes per game throughout that season, up from 12.5 the year prior.
This season has seen Cofer play in 22 games and average 7.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and shoot 39.1 percent from the field. For what it’s worth, in each of the seasons before the current one, he had shot 45.2 percent or better. Cofer’s playing time is also down slightly, as he’s averaged 26.2 minutes per while starting 19 of 22 games.