But the Tar Heels are hardly the only big time program that's showing interest in young Cooke -- one of the strongest and most talented sophomore point guards in the country. Virginia, Kentucky, Duke and a host of others are also recruiting the kid and according to sources -- he's in no rush to decide his collegiate destination.
Over the summer, Cooke looked simply fantastic in stretches while playing for the Nike sponsored Boo Williams squad out of the southeastern portion of Virginia. A team that featured Duke bound shooter JJ Redick and future Terp John Gilchrist, a clever senior lead guard, who ranks as one of the best ten point guards in the country. So, obviously, Cooke didn't get the minutes that he could have gotten elsewhere, but don't let that fool you, Cooke is a baller.
The tough and strong lead guard took the floor for Nansemond-River at the Super Saturday Slam Fest in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday and while he wasn't able to lead the Warriors to victory over Highland Springs -- he was very impressive.
He only scored three points in the first half, as he was saddled with three fouls, but as we expected, he came alive in the second half scoring 19 more and dishing out numerous assists. His totals for the game were 22 points and 8 assists.
He scored in a variety of ways -- from penetrating and popping mid-range jumpers to aggressively driving to the hole to three-point-plays in which he was fouled. And Cooke is the type of prospect that's going to get to the free throw line a lot in college, luckily for him, he's a pretty good looking shooter from the charity stripe too.
Although, Cooke is a great athlete, he plays a little more of a controlled game for the Warriors as opposed to summer basketball where he played with a more free spirit. He really was solid with his decisions and poised from the point slot on Saturday. He would commonly dribble into the heart of the zone defense of Highland Springs and then whip passes out to spot up shooters or slashing forwards in the lane. And as we mentioned before, he really took an active responsibility for scoring in the second half as Nansemond River made a valiant effort to come back from a deficit.
Here's some notes from our scouting report on Cooke from Saturday -- Super strong physique, legit 6-foot-3, quick first step, pure point qualities with solid and smart floor vision, looked to get others involved with regularity. Solid ball-handler, looked to hold back a little much on the penetration at times but was good when he did. Very good free throw shooter, poised with ball, nice mid-range game but outside jump shot needs a little fine tuning.