One of the most heralded players in the class of 2006 is a high priority to sign for several of the top programs in the country. The Cincinnati Bearcats are no exception.
Daequan Cook, a 6-5 shooting guard from Dayton (OH) Dunbar is ranked by Scout Hoops as the two guard in the country in the junior class. Cincinnati is one of many programs chasing Cook.
On Wednesday afternoon, Bearcat Insider spoke with Cook's assistant coach and the man in charge of his recruitment—Al Powell, to get the latest on Cook.
"It's really been about the same as most of the same schools remain in the picture," Powell told Bearcat Insider. "It's really Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wake Forest. Cincinnati is still involved."
"Some people that have crept on the scene like Oklahoma. Others like Illinois and Uconn has picked up the pace as well. As we try to shrink it, it gets more intense as others try to get involved and other possibilities come about," he added.
The talented junior has been to Cincinnati on a couple of occasions in the last several months. Aside from an unofficial visit for Midnight Madness on October 15th, Cook also recently watched the Cincinnati-Wake Forest game at the Fifth Third Arena last weekend.
Leading Dunbar to a 13-3 record, Cook currently averages 21.5 points and 10.7 rebounds a game while shooting 55% from the field.
Wednesday evening, Powell and Cook were scheduled to watch the University of Dayton's home game against Fordham for what Powell considered a "get-away" game.
The Bearcats are still playing from behind, but Powell believes they offer enough of what Cook is looking for to remain interested.
"He knows they are going to the Big East next year, and he understands how competitive that conference is," Powell noted. "It (Cincinnati) is within the area, and although that it's not mandatory, it's where his parents can get to him and those schools will always have the slight edge. He likes the style (of play) for sure."
Cook is scheduled to visit Ohio State on February 27th for the Ohio State-Wisconsin game. He is also tentatively planning to attend the Ohio State-Illinois showdown on March 6th to close out the regular season.
**Another Dayton star looking at UC is Cook's high school teammate, 6-8, sophomore, Aaron Pogue. Pogue
Pogue averages 16.0 points and 9.8 rebounds a game. Powell says Cincinnati leads Dayton, Ohio State, Michigan, and Oklahoma amongst several others early on for the Sean May clone.