It's been a busy week for the Wyoming basketball staff as they signed their second athlete in three days. The latest addition is 6-9 195lb forward Derek Cooke from Cloud County CC in Kansas. The long and lean athlete certainly took an interesting path before signing with the Cowboys.
Cooke in a DC native and played wide receiver in high school. He was only 6-2 and decided to take a year off after graduation. During that time he had a massive growth spurt and enrolled at Cloud County where he would play his first organized basketball. He used his redshirt in 2010-11 in order to learn some of the game's fundamentals. He played just one season at Cloud and will have three years of eligibility as a Poke. Over the season Cooke averaged 6.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and nearly one assist. He shot 55% from the field which led the team.
His defense is certainly ahead of his offense and Coach Shyatt is very excited about Cooke's quickness and athleticism. He can play the four or the five and can defend the post or on the floor. There is plenty of potential that Shyatt see in his latest commit.
Cooke is exactly the type of player that I always end up falling head over heals for. Not really worried about his offensive production but I love a lean big man who can gather in rebounds in bunches and swat opponents shots with ease. I'm basically hoping that Cooke is the next Theo Ratliff. He is basically filling the roster spot of Tyrone Marshall and they are fairly similar athletes. Marshall is a more physical player then Cooke but both are big men that are still developing their games.
Technically the Cowboys are now out of scholarships but the opening sentence in the press release gives me pause.
University of Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt took another step toward rounding out the 2012-13 Cowboy roster on Wednesday, when he announced that 6-9, 195-pound forward Derek Cooke has signed a National Letter of Intent and will transfer to UW from Cloud County Community College.
This is just another step? If the recruiting class was the complete and the roster was finalized, wouldn't they say so? Perhaps another player is transferring and that would open another scholarship. Or maybe signee Jason McManamen from Torrington, WY can utilize a Hathaway Scholarship for instate students instead of an athletic scholarship.
Perhaps I'm just reading too much into this right now. They could just be referring to the suspension of Leonard Washington. If he stays with the team (which seems likely) the roster will be full. Will stop now before any rumors get started. But it will certainly something to watch over the last couple weeks of school.
Great to see the Cowboys have such a great week recruiting and get they two athletes they were targeting. Here is a highlight video of Cooke and several of his teammates. It is all offensive highlights which is not Cooke's strong suit. Still there is a chance to see him run the court and make four or five solid plays in the video. He definitely moves very well for someone that stands 6-9.