PITTSBURGH RECRUITING UPDATE
TRANSFER ALERT: Mike Cook (G/F) from East Carolina
Projected 2006-2007 Roster:
Seniors: Antonio Graves (G), Levon Kendall (F/C), Doyle Hudson (F/C), Aaron Gray (C)
Juniors: Keith Benjamin (G), Ronald Ramon (G), Mike Cook (G/F)
Sophomores: Levance Fields (PG), Sam Young (F) Trevor Ferguson (G) Tyrell Biggs (F)
Freshmen: Gilbert Brown (SF/G)
Additional Note: Pittsburgh received an early verbal from Herb Pope for 2007.
Our previous Pitt Recruiting Reports: July 1st and July 25 Recruiting Round-Up.
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Story from Pittsburgh Post Gazette's Sports Briefs on Cook transferring to Pitt: Cook to Pitt.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who cites television reports out of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh has added East Carlolina transfer Mike Cook to the roster. In Cook, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon adds a versatile guard/forward that brings excellent size and strength to the Big East. Cook is a powerful wing that has a knack for getitng to the hoop to score and has the size to grab rebounds in traffic. He is also an excellent ballhandler and passer. He can play all three perimeter positions. Cook attended Friends Central in Philadelphia where he was a teammate of Hakim Warrick. Cook was a 4-yr starter at Friends and left as the school's all-time leading scorer. Cook spent a 5th year prep season at New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire.
At East Carolina, Cook was a member of the Conference USA all-freshmen team in his first year with the club. He averaged 10.4 PPG, but it was over the last 12 games of the season in which he took over the PG duties and averaged 13.7 PPG in that time. His play as a freshmen led Coach Bill Herrion to name Cook one of the 2 team captains prior to his sophomore season. As a sophomore, Cook averaged 15 PPG for the Pirates in a disappointing season. Cook is a fiery and intense competitor that sometimes has trouble controlling those emotions and the bad season at ECU seemed to get to him and at times he seemed to be playing for himself, which led to poor shooting percentages and increased turnovers as a sophomore. When it came time to transfer, LaSalle and UNC-Charlotte where seriously mentioned with Cook as well as Pitt and Georgia Tech. Reports are, that he has decided on Pittsburgh.
Pitt now has 2 commitments, Cook and SF Gilbert Brown, and one scholarship open. Pittsburgh definitely needs to land a big man and they have been following Mike Davis nearly every step of the way in the month of July and Davis has responded with solid play and made the ABCD senior all-star game. Davis had originally verballed to Pittsburgh while a student at Xaverian HS (where he was a classmate of Pitt incoming frosh Levance Fields), but was dismissed from school and played the past year at Bannaker HS in NYC. Davis will prep this season at Notre Dame Prep and will try to get some of the off the court issues set aside that has detoured his trip to college. Pitt has also been heavily involved with Taj Gibson, who has visited Pitt with Davis this summer and Hamady N'Diaye as other big men possibilities. Players that are also mentioned in connection with Pitt include Marcus Johnson from Ohio, Lazar Hayward of Buffalo (and Notre Dame Prep) and Eugene Harvey of NJ, but with the Cook commitment, it seems like they would no longer be in the picture.