The recruitment of Marquie Cooke is very similar to the recent attempt to land previously touted guards, John Gilcrist and Mustafa Shakur. The time and energy spent in the next few months could well rival the staff's attempt to lure Shakur to Raleigh. All Wolfpack fans hope that the Staff will land the marquee point that has been so long sought. TSW will be there to cover it.
Marquie has been described as a physically built player who runs the point. In a recent story by Orange and Blue Illustrated, Cooke was described as a basketball player in a football player's body. "The first thing you notice about Marquie Cooke upon seeing him is just how strong this young man is. At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds or so, Cooke looks more like a big-time safety prospect than a point guard at first glance. He has long arms and a very impressive physique, attributes that serve him well with his style of play."
Cooke uses all his physical tools to dominate opposing players. He is currently averaging 25 points, eight assists and seven rebounds per game. His Warriors currently have a record of 10-2.
The Orange and Blue continued with their football analogy. "Cooke knows how to score and has a very nice shooting touch, but what's most impressive about the Nansemond junior is his court vision and passing ability. He is a quarterback on the floor in every sense of the word, a player who is intent on getting his teammates involved. He is also a tenacious defender that makes life miserable on opposing guards."
Dave Telep thinks Cooke may be one of the best players in the class of 2004, where he has rated him as a 4 star recruit. "One of Virginia's top players for the past few seasons. He is a big guard who can score. As a high school point he's more of a scorer who is still feeling his way around the position. Has all kinds of tools (range on jumper, hesitation dribble) and could be a star on the college level."
After watching Cooke last summer in the AAU championships, Telep continued to praise the Boo Williams point guard. "Right now, his AAU career rivals that of Gilchrist. A reserve as a youngster, but contributor nonetheless. He's bigger than Gilchrist and there's every reason to think he'll be equally as good down the road if not better."
Just because NC State has turned the heat up on trying to land Cooke, think not that the competition is laying down to the Pack's wishes. Virginia and Duke are pushing hard with Michigan State, Maryland, UCLA and Georgetown also being mentioned as well. Marquie has been quoted as "wanting to stay close to home" because of family reasons so it looks like Virginia (150 miles) and NC State (160) might be his best options, although Duke, Maryland and Georgtown are not that much further away.
As we all have seen in the past, it will be hard for any of the other schools to outwork Coach Sendek, Coach Phelps and the rest of the staff and players. That, we know as NC State fans and hopefully Marquie will soon come to appreciate. Time will tell if it will be enough as the staff continues their hunt for that prized recruit that plays point guard.
Links of interest for Marquie Cooke: