Report: Dunbar's Cook Will Pick OSU Today

Dayton Dunbar junior guard Daequan Cook has set an announcement for 4:30 p.m. today at his school. Cook is expected to announce Ohio State as his college choice at that time. Click here for more details.

Daequan Cook, one of the nation's top 10 junior basketball prospects, will announce his college choice at a 4:30 p.m. press conference at his high school, Dayton Dunbar.

The Dayton Daily News reported this morning that the 6-5 Cook was expected to commit to Ohio State and a source confirmed that much to

Jeff Goodman of reported this morning that, indeed, Ohio State would be Cook's choice.

"Daequan is doing what's best for him and it's a great situation for him at Ohio State," Spiece Indy Heat coach Mike Conley told Goodman. "Thad Matta is a class individual and is a great coach. I respect him a lot."

Goodman reported that Cook called his mentor, Al Powell, late Monday night and told Powell he knew what he wanted to do. They took the 1 1/2-hour drive to Columbus yesterday and closed the deal with Matta and his staff.

"Thad Matta is the reason," Powell told Goodman. "If he was still at Xavier, Daequan would probably have ended up at Xavier. Ohio State went from No. 100 to the top five when he took the job."

We are planning complete coverage of Cook's announcement later today.

Cook averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds a game in leading Dunbar to the Division II state semifinals at Value City Arena last weekend. He was the Associated Press state co-player of the year. He had 26 points in Dunbar's semifinal loss.

Cook, who attended OSU's win over No. 1-ranked Illinois, told reporters he enjoyed playing in VCA, even though his team lost its semifinal game to eventual state champion Upper Sandusky.

About why he liked OSU, Cook said, "The atmosphere. It's close to home and my parents would be able to see me play. And I like the coaches. They get up and down. This is the type of basketball I like to play."

Cook is rated as the No. 1 junior in Ohio by Ohio High and as the nation's No. 6 junior by

This would be a major coup for OSU coach Thad Matta. Cook's verbal would give Matta, who has 122 wins in five years as a college coach, even more credibility in recruiting circles.

Cook has also been considering Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State and North Carolina.

He is hopeful of playing college ball with his AAU teammates Greg Oden and Mike Conley of Indianapolis Lawrence North. Oden is considering a jump to the NBA, while Conley had been leaning to Wake Forest.

Cook would be eligible to sign in the early signing period for college recruits in November and would be a freshman at his college of choice in 2006-07.

If it is, indeed, Ohio State, Cook, as a national top-10 prospect, could be viewed as OSU's biggest basketball recruit since Jim Jackson committed to head coach Gary Williams and assistant Randy Ayers in 1989.

It could also start an avalanche of highly ranked players clamoring to sign with the Buckeyes. OSU has two scholarships available for current high school seniors or junior college transfers or, if they don't add any players this year, they would have as many as six scholarships for current juniors.

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