Cook "Thoroughly Enjoys" Ohio State Visit

This past weekend was supposed to be one of the biggest Buckeye men's basketball recruiting weekends ever as five of the nation's very best junior recruits were scheduled to make unofficial visits to campus. Only three of those players wound up making the trip, but one was Ohio's top junior and No. 1 junior shooting guard in America, Daequan Cook of Dayton Dunbar. Kyle Lamb has a report on Cook's visit went.

On the heels of a big time recruiting weekend for the Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball team, a lot of people are curious to see how everything went.

Tuesday evening, Bucknuts spoke with Al Powell, the Dunbar assistant coach handling the recruitment for 6-5 junior guard, Daequan Cook.

Cook is ranked as the top-ranked shooting guard nationally in the class of 2006 by the Insiders Hoops. He joined Greg Oden, the top-ranked 7-0 center, and his teammate Mike Conley, the top-ranked 6-1 point guard on visits to Ohio State this past weekend.

The talented trio was scheduled to be joined alongside 6-10 Richard Semrau of Rocky River, Ohio and reportedly 6-5 David Lighty of Cleveland. Neither was able to attend, however, due to scheduling conflicts.

Powell said the three that did attend, however, had a great time.

"I think all three of them really enjoyed themselves," he said. "Those guys came away very impressed in talking with them."

Cook could probably attend most any college he wanted to, but right now Ohio State, Michigan, Wake Forest, and North Carolina seem to be the favorites.

If this past weekend is any indication, Ohio State may have not only made a favorable impression, but according to Powell, it may have given Cook a hard time of saying no when the time comes to choose a college.

"Daequan was completely overwhelmed by everything," Powell said.

"In fact, I think if Daequan was permitted to do so, he might have made the decision right there on the spot," Powell added. "He really had a great time."

It wasn't that Cook might not have been ready to make a decision, but Powell says that they have made a conscious decision to play out the process and consider their options before making any rash decisions.

As tempting as it may have been for Cook to verbal to the Buckeyes, they won't do so until they've considered everything and everyone.

"We just decided to make the commitment to have a process of going through, and I think we need to check out all of these places before making a decision," Powell said. "I don't think it would be good for him to say he didn't get to see Stanford, or whoever, just using as Stanford as an example."

Although Cook is by no means a lock to wind up giving a verbal to Ohio State, they do hold a big advantage, along with Michigan, over places like Wake Forest or North Carolina that will factor in the final decision in a big way.

"Our big thing is making this a tri-state decision," Powell explained of Cook's choices. "We feel that anything you can get at a UCLA or whatever, you can find the same within the tri-state."

They believe that any style of play, or any facet of a program you might be looking for, you could find with any of the major programs in this area, i.e., Ohio State, Michigan, Kentucky, or Louisville.

Staying close to home has become a priority for Cook, and by association, Powell, who is trying to help guide him to a solid choice to help shape his future.

"There's no doubt that it's important for us to stay close to home," Powell said. "By going to Ohio State, not only can mom make it to all of the home games, she can make it to Bloomington, Ann Arbor, Champaign, and several of the road games as well."

Additionally, Powell even indicated that staying in-state had its advantages for Cook, giving the Buckeyes an added advantage.

Powell couldn't say enough of how much Cook enjoyed the visit.

"I think he was thoroughly impressed of everything," Powell elaborated. "Coach Matta is really doing a great job with this process."

Powell said he and Cook would be making a return visit to Ohio State together in a few weeks. They are hoping that Cook's mother would be able to attend with them.

He also said that should Cook ultimately give a verbal to the Buckeyes, he was the type of player that could lure many other great players along with him to Columbus.

No timetable has really been set for a decision, but they will continue to explore all of their options rationally and in due process.

In the meantime, it appears to be a good old-fashioned Big Ten battle for Cook between the Buckeyes and Wolverines, with Wake Forest and North Carolina remaining solid possibilities.

Ohio State is hoping for a few more weekends like the one they just had.

"There was nothing but positives to come out of this," Powell said.

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