April 18, 2012
Cooke seeing late interest
For a guy who never played high school basketball, Derek Cooke has quite a following of college basketball coaches. The 6-foot-9, 195-pound forward from Washington, DC has spent the last two seasons at Cloud County College in Kansas, making up for a lost high school career.
Now, Cooke finds himself with several options for where to continue playing basketball.
"He is a tremendous athlete," said Cloud assistant coach Lance Carter. "He didn't play in high school. He got cut his first year or two in high school and didn't play as a junior or senior. He redshirted for us last year and this year he was part of our starting five. He plays above the rim and needs some work on his offensive game. What he does well is play defense and rebound and if a team needs a guy who can come in right away and do that, while developing the offensive game, he is the guy."
Last season Cooke, a Psychology & Philosophy major, averaged six points and 8.4 boards for a 25-8 Cloud team that will send five of its six sophomores to Division I programs.
Carter said Cooke came in at around 6-foot-7 on the recommendation of a coach in the DC area. Carter said he is now 6-foot-9, "full muscled," and could probably add another five or seven pounds to the frame.
Carter said one of the things that makes Cooke unique in the recruiting realm is the fact he still has three years to play after transferring due to his redshirt.
"I think that is the most intriguing part for everyone," Carter said. "He can do two things right now, defend and rebound. If you can bring him in and develop his offensive game. I think he could be an 8 point, and 11-12 rebound per game guy."
Last weekend Carter said Cooke was in Laramie to check out the University of Wyoming. This weekend he will get a look at the Missouri State, but the list of interested coaches and offers keeps changing in regards to Cooke.
"I think he felt good about it," Carter said of Cooke's visit to Laramie. "He enjoyed it. Derek is a very intuitive kid. He is going to sit down and think about it very deeply. I think he has a visit to Missouri. He is going to compare the schools, I think."
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