Mookie Cook is a Duck, and there’s no more uncertainty about that.
The 6-foot-7 200-pound small forward, who is currently playing for Compass Prep in Arizona and is rated the No.4 prospect in the country for 2023, recommitted to the Ducks on Friday afternoon (as was predicted on ATQ’s podcast the night before).
Cook ultimately chose Oregon over top-tier programs like Kentucky, Duke, Gonzaga, and Arizona. And though he decommitted from the Ducks at the end of June to explore other options, the writing was on the wall for his return.
First and foremost, Cook had already committed to UO before, clearly showing that he could see himself as a Duck. Secondly, Cook hails from the state of Oregon and used to attend Jefferson High School.
But the final nail in the coffin may well have been the recent commitment of fellow 5-star prospect Kwame Evans Jr., who decided to come to Eugene and join forces with 4-star point guard Jackson Shelstad. Seeing the potential for a Big Three on the hardwood at Matthew Knight Arena clearly factored into Cook’s decision. After all, blue chip prospects want to be stars, and they want to play professional basketball, but if there’s an ounce of competitive spirit in them, they want to win.
If you look at the track record head coach Dana Altman has at Oregon compared to Oregon Men’s Basketball’s success rate before he arrived, the difference is astounding. From taking ragtag groups of transfers and underclassmen on NCAA Tournament runs to stealing 5-star recruits from more storied basketball programs, Altman has shown us at least one thing; the man knows how to win.
The way he does that is by getting his players to play selflessly, and function as a unit, not a group of individual stars.
Cook clearly bought into that notion in making his decision, and if these players live up to the number of stars they’ve come in with, Altman could have something very special brewing in Eugene very soon.