Cook Talks Iowa Visit, Kansas Offer

Tyler Cook enjoyed an exciting weekend. He picked up a Kansas offer at the Jayhawks camp and visited Iowa, a school that extended him an opportunity in the spring. The Class of 2016 power forward talked about it all with Hawkeye Insider.

Tyler Cook could have rested on his accomplishments. Instead, the Class of 2016 forward from St. Louis was on his way to the gym at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

That inner drive prevailed after an exhausting weekend. Cook and his family traveled to Kansas for a camp before heading north for an Iowa visit on Monday.

Rather than sleeping in after the long trip, the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Class of 2016 power forward pushed ahead. He was thankful for the position in which he finds himself.

"My family has sacrificed for me. I've had pretty much everything I've needed growing up. I see how hard my parents and my brother and my grandparents work. They've given so much to me to help me reach my goals that I just want to be able to do the same for them," Cook said.

Cook is well on his way to realizing his dream of playing major college basketball. He reports scholarship offers from Iowa, Illinois State and Kansas, which came to him after camping in Lawrence during the weekend.

"I did not see it coming. They had been recruiting me for some time but not very aggressively. I was lucky enough to come out and play well at their camp. I sat down with Coach (Bill) Self Sunday morning and he just said he really liked me and wants me as part of his program," Cook said.

The Jayhawks represent college basketball royalty. They often land who they want on the recruiting trail. They'll have more work to do with Cook.

"I'm really not in a rush," he said. "I'm thinking I might make a decision before my senior season starts but I'm just going to take it slow and trying to enjoy the process. I still have two more years of high school left so I'm just taking it all in.

"It was awesome (receiving the Kansas offer). It's a blessing to be able to be in this situation with offers from Iowa, Kansas and Illinois State. I understand there's a lot of work to do. I'm going to just keep working hard and let it all sink in."

Hawkeye Coach Fran McCaffery saw enough from Cook to extend a scholarship offer in the spring. The Chaminade College Prep and St. Louis Eagles product told he and assistant Sherman Dillard that he would visit. He held to his word on Monday.

"It was great. It's a blessing to be in this situation to have the offer from Iowa. I had a lot of fun there. They welcomed me with open arms and said they're excited about the potential of having me on the team," Cook said.

"I liked that the coaches were straight forward with me about me and the role they see me playing with the team. It was exciting to hear that. They said that everything about my game fits their program perfectly. I agree with that. I watched them this past season and they're a great program. The coaches are very good at what they do. They run a team very well."

Cook met with McCaffery.

"It went great. The first thing we did when I got there is we sat down for probably about a half hour and talked, just he and me and my family. He seems like a really good guy. He's obviously good at what he does," he said.

Iowa City also impressed Cook.

"It was a small town but it had everything that you really need as a college athlete. It was really nice, actually. We went out downtown Iowa City and had lunch on the visit. I got to see the downtown area and it was pretty nice. That (basketball) facilities were nice also," he said.

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