No. 6 Junior Decides

The No. 6 Player in the Class of 2006 is off the board. Daequan Cook has made his decision. Take a look at where he's headed.

If Thad Matta is walking around with a smile on his face, who can blame him. The Ohio State head coach just landed Daequan Cook.

The 6-4 ½, 200-pound Dayton Dunbar High (Ohio) shooting guard, who is's No. 6 player in the Class of 2006, will make an announcement later this afternoon and will choose the Buckeyes over Michigan, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Cincinnati.

``Daequan is doing what's best for him and it's a great situation for him at Ohio State," Spiece Indy Heat coach Mike Conley said. "Thad Matta is a class individual and is a great coach. I respect him a lot."

Cook called his mentor, Al Powell, late Monday night and told Powell he knew what he wanted to do. They took the 1 1/2-hour drive to Columbus yesterday and closed the deal with Matta and his staff.

``Thad Matta is the reason," Powell said. "If he was still at Xavier, Daequan would probably have ended up at Xavier. Ohio State went from No. 100 to the top five when he took the job."

Cook averaged 22 points and 12 boards this season. He can score in a variety of ways, has good size, is athletic and has a game similar to that of Ray Allen. He still needs to work on his ballhandling and his intensity, but he's one of the elite players in the class and could potentially go directly to the NBA if the age limit isn't enforced by the NBA.

``One of the signs of greatness is someone who looks effortless in what they do, in any sport," Conley said. "Daequan has that. The things he does is smooth, so easy and so effortless."

``He's a prolific scorer and I've never been around anyone who can score from anywhere possible," added Conley. "He can shoot the 3, loves the mid-range shot and can also take it to the basket. He's a highlight film and is a great kid."

Cook told Powell that Matta and a chance for his friends and family to see him play were the biggest reasons, but he also wanted to help turn around a program.

``He told me that he could have gone to a North Carolina and played anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but he knew that if they didn't get him they'd get another guy like him," Powell said.

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