Next Generation

Arkansas has been to see Northwest Florida College small forward Elgin Cook (6-6, 190) - the son of former Razorback and NBA star Alvin Robertson - three times already this season.

The son of one of Arkansas' best basketball players ever could wind up in an Arkansas uniform.

The Razorback coaching staff has traveled three times to Niceville (FL) to see Northwest Florida State College redshirt freshman small forward Elgin Cook (6-6, 190), who is the son of former Razorback and NBA player Alvin Robertson.

Heading into Wednesday's game with Chipola, Cook is averaging 15.6 points and 5.9 rebounds this season and shooting a sizzling 64 percent from the field for head coach Steve Forbes' team - which is ranked seventh nationally.

"Elgin doesn't have a firm offer from Arkansas yet because of their numbers, but the coaching staff has definitely shown interest in him and have been here three times to see him play," Forbes said. "Obviously with his dad Alvin playing there and being an alum, Elgin has a lot of interest in the Razorbacks.

"He's their type of player," Forbes added. "He's an exceptional athlete, plays within himself, is a good shooter, can really finish, is smart with the basketball and defensively he can guard guys from the one to the four."

Cook – who will have three years of eligibility at his next stop - has offers from TCU, Oregon, Gonzaga, Washington, VCU, New Mexico, Auburn and Mississippi State.

"The fact that he got here last January and redshirted and has three years to play where he signs makes him very attractive to college coaches," Forbes said.

Arkansas signed 6-10 forwards Bobby Portis of Little Rock Hall and Moses Kingsley of Huntington (WV) Prep in the early period.

The Razorbacks would have to have a couple players leave to hand out another scholarship in the late signing period April 17-May 15.

That is quite possible with Razorback sophomore B.J. Young and redshirt junior Marshawn Powell both thought to be considering turning professional at the conclusion of this season.

"Elgin's not in any hurry and won't start taking visits until this spring," Forbes said. "He knows the situation at Arkansas and he is very interested."

As apparently Arkansas is in Cook, who has been watched in person this season by Razorback head coach Mike Anderson and all three assistants - Melvin Watkins, T.J. Cleveland and Matt Zimmerman.

"All of those guys have been to see him so they are doing their homework," Forbes said. "He did struggle in one game when Mike was here when he got in early foul trouble. Some times you are just at the mercy of the game."

Cook's finest game this season was a 32-point, 10-rebound, 6-assist performance in a 94-63 win over Alabama Southern Community College on Nov. 17.

He was 14-of-18 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line and scored 32 points without taking a single 3-pointer.

"I've been coaching a long time and that was as good a floor game as I have ever seen from one of my players," Forbes said.

He's only taken seven 3-pointers all season while making a single one.

"He is a great shooter around the basket and from mid-range and really doesn't take bad shots," Forbes said. "You can see that he doesn't take 3-pointers. That's not really his game."

Cook has joined point guard Chris Jones – a Louisville signee averaging 24.3 points – to give the Raiders a powerful 1-2 scoring punch.

Those two players are putting up so many points despite playing an average of just 22 (Jones) and 18 minutes (Cook) per game.

"We have a team of 11 talented guys that all are going to sign with Division I schools so we share the time," Forbes said. "There is no telling how many points those guys would put up if they played the entire game."

Cook had 16 points on Saturday as Northwest Florida State rallied late to down Gulf Coast 78-73 to win its Panhandle Conference opener and move to 15-1 overall this season.

Jones had 28 points and Cook 22 – 15 in the second half - four days earlier as the Raiders beat Shelton State 92-82.

"Elgin is really playing well right now, playing smart, doing a lot of good things," Forbes said. "He is really hitting his stride right now."

Cook grew up in Milwaukee and averaged 19 points his senior season for Hamilton. He originally signed with Iowa State, but never made it to campus.

"He ended up going to a prep school hoping to get his grades in order, but then made the decision to come here and join us in January," Forbes said. "He just redshirted and practice with us and that's why he has three years to play on the next level and will be able to leave this spring."

Northwest Florida State's only loss this season has been to No. 3 Palm Beach State, a 68-63 decision at the Juco Shootout in Gainesville on Dec. 10.

"We have had a really good season and feel good about where we are headed," Forbes said. "Our guys are playing hard and playing together."

Elgin Cook

Hawgs Daily Top Stories