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Know the Prospect: Daequan Cook

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(AP Photo/John Raoux)

While Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. are the top prospects coming out of Ohio State this year, Daequan Cook is another guy with some real potential.

  • The basics: Cook is a 6'5'', 210 lb. shooting guard from Ohio. He's 20 years old and, according to his player card averaged 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and an assist in only 20 minutes a game this past season as a Buckeye.
  • It's hard to fully gauge Cook's offensive capability, since his minutes were limited in his freshman season, including almost no burn towards the end of the season and in the NCAA Tournament.
  • NBADraft.net compares Cook to Larry Hughes. He's described as a polished offensive player with a solid mid-range game, a strong body, decent court vision, and the will to rebound. They do fault Cook, though, for his habit of gambling on defense and his tendency to force shots. Basically he sounds like Jamal Crawford- only stronger and with less of a handle.
  • DraftExpress.com gave Cook pretty good reviews for his Pre-Draft Camp performance:
"Cook already can score the ball at an NBA level, and with the trend towards undersized shooting guards of late, he has a very good chance to make significant contributions for a team in his future. The most notable thing about his scoring ability is how he can hit a shot with a hand in his face and how he's so strong and able to hit shots nearly effortlessly from long range, as easy as he does from 10-15 feet out. Cook showed some nice ability with his floaters and pull-up jumpers from mid range, but he didn't really get to show how deadly he can be hitting from long range when he gets on a roll, something that's tough to do here when you're playing in five-minute shifts and plays aren't being run for you."
DX goes on to say that Cook's a solid passer (though by no means a point guard), and he has the tools, if not the size, to be a decent defender.
  • Cook has yet to work out for the Knicks, though he's scheduled to do so before June 25th.
  • I couldn't get in touch with Sean from Around the Oval, our Ohio State site (it's finals week), but I did some snooping around and found this bit on Cook from Sean's postseason grades:
Daequan Cook - B - Cook was an interesting player this season. All season long, his shot selection was suspect. He'd shoot with a guy in his face, he'd shoot from unusual places, he'd shoot in unusual ways. And early in the season, he'd make these shots. I'd see him make a sixteen-foot fallaway bank shot with a hand in his face and say, "He's just a scorer." But then those shots stopped falling, and when he'd miss the shots he used to make, I'd say "He's got to improve his shot selection." He finished with the best three-point percentage on the team, 41.5%, and he was the fourth-leading scorer on the team, but after spending the second half of the season watching him miss shots he shouldn't even be taking, it's tough for me to see how he did it. The bottom line is that you can't let the second half of the season overshadow the first half, when he was excellent. For that matter, you can't let his shooting overshadow his contribution on the glass: he was the team's third-leading rebounder, at 4.3 boards per game. If Cook can improve his shot selection and defense, he'll be a great player, but for this season, I'm giving him a B.

The bottom line: Daequan Cook sounds like a guy who's got the size, the skills and the confidence, but may not be what we need. Unless Crawford, Robinson, and/or Francis are on their way out of New York, I think we have more than enough guys who have the offensive capability but not the shot selection. Cook may not even be around at the 23rd pick, but if he is, I think the Knicks can find a player who fits better.

Anyway, I open it up to you guys. What's your impression of Daequan Cook? Does he have what it takes to be an NBA player? Could he benefit the Knicks? State your case in the comments. Peace.