The first thing Whitefield Academy coach Tyrone Johnson talks about is Tekele (pronounced Tuh-kell) Cotton's toughness and defense.
That is just the way Cotton wants to be described, both in high school in Georgia and when he comes to Wichita State. Cotton, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound guard, gave WSU's men's basketball program an oral commitment.
"Coach Johnson, he takes pride in being tough," Cotton said. "From high school to college — they both want to be tough. I think I am that."
Cotton is the second player from the class of 2011 to give WSU a commitment, joining Heights guard Evan Wessel. The signing period begins Nov. 10 and WSU coaches cannot comment on recruits until they sign.
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The Atlanta Tipoff Club named Cotton one of 30 players on the All-Metro Team. He was also named honorable mention Class A in Georgia. Johnson said Cotton averaged around 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists as a junior. Whitefield Academy is located in Mableton, near Atlanta.
"He is extremely physical on both ends of the court," Johnson said. "He is a tremendous ball defender and gets to the basket."
Cotton plays point guard and shooting guard. Johnson describes him as a player with a good mid-range shot and adequate from three-point range. His best skill is using his body to penetrate, score and draw fouls.
"At his height, he dominates his matchup," Johnson said. "We can post him up. More than anything, he wants to get to the (basket.)"
Cotton likes playing defense because it's something many players don't enjoy.
"It's all about competition," he said. "If you can't score, then that's going to stop a lot of people from getting into their groove."
Cotton visited WSU earlier this month. He also considered Murray State, Middle Tennessee State, Morehead State, Northeastern and others.
WSU overcame a geographic disadvantage and made him comfortable with basketball and academics. He hung out with all the Shockers, particularly junior guard David Kyles.
"It just felt like home when I went," Cotton said. "They're all about winning, in school and on the basketball court."