Jerry Meyer of 247Sports is reporting that four star junior college forward Elgin Cook will be in Eugene this Thursday when the men's basketball team takes on Cal. Cook is a 6'6 forward who can guard multiple positions on defense while creating matchup problems for opposing teams on offense. Cook would fill a position of need for the Ducks as they look to replenish a front court that will lose Arsalan Kazemi, E.J. Singler, Carlos Emory, and Tony Woods to graduation this year.
The recruitment of Cook is interesting as it is thought that Oregon has only one remaining basketball scholarship available. The Ducks also remain in the hunt for five star forward Aaron Gordon from San Jose, California. Gordon officially visited Oregon in October and had eliminated the Ducks from consideration before adding them back to his list earlier this month. He is also considering Washington, Kentucky, Kansas, and Arizona.
Gordon is a program changer and would seem to be the obvious preference here, but the recruitment of Cook could indicate that the Oregon coaching staff doesn't like their chances with Gordon, a likely one-and-done player who is a top-10 recruit nationally.
While Gordon is a star in the making, Cook is no slouch either. He is averaging 15 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 1.8 apg in only 21.9 minutes per game for NW Florida State. He is being recruited by numerous schools, including Arkansas, Illinois, New Mexico, Washington, and Gonzaga.
Brad Winton of jucorecruiting.com had this to say about Cook last month:
Cook creates match-up nightmares because of his ability to drag bigger post players out on the perimeter and take smaller guards & forwards into the post. He is excellent when attacking the rim and crashing the offensive glass. He is an elite athlete who plays well above the rim and has a knack for timing the ball when it comes off the rim.
While the Ducks' back court is set for the foreseeable future with Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson, they are in desperate need of quality big men to compliment their young guards. With three years to play three, Cook is the type of player that Dana Altman has made a living on at Oregon. Securing a commitment from Cook or another college-ready forward will be vital for continuing the momentum that he and his staff have been building since arriving in Eugene.