REBELS BASKETBALL:

Baltimore PG Daquan Cook becomes UNLV’s first 2012 hoops commit

6-foot-1 point guard will not play in Las Vegas this weekend due to summer school schedule overlap

Updated Thursday, July 21, 2011 | 4:30 p.m.

The Rebel Room

Recruiting season hits its peak

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This week on LasVegasSun.com Sports Talk - doubling as The Rebel Room podcast - Ray Brewer and Ryan Greene break down a busy recruiting month for Dave Rice and his UNLV men's basketball staff. The crazy weekend in Las Vegas included three big tournaments, and the the guys will fill you in on who the staff made sure to go watch, who has emerged as the primary recruiting targets and who could likely be the next commit - or two - in the class of 2012.

Just 24 hours before a huge evaluation weekend in Las Vegas began for Dave Rice and his UNLV coaching staff, some big news came through their offices at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The first of five vacant scholarships in their 2012 recruiting class is now spoken for, as 6-foot-1 point guard Daquan Cook from Baltimore, Md., committed to the Rebels.

Cook, who plays for St. Frances High, chose UNLV over Washington, Seton Hall, Temple, South Florida, Maryland and a handful of others. Cook normally plays on the AAU circuit for Baltimore's Finest, and was scheduled to play in this weekend's adidas Super 64 at Rancho High with D.C. Assault. However, he will not be coming out to Las Vegas for the tournament due to an overlap with his summer school schedule.

The commitment fills a need for at least one point guard prospect in the 2012 class, as UNLV is set to lose a four-year starter in Oscar Bellfield to graduation following the 2011-12 campaign.

The possibility for early playing time was one of the factors that Cook said attracted him to UNLV, along with the uptempo style of play that was pitched by Rice.

"I didn't really want to speed (my recruitment) up, but coach Rice really showed me that he wanted me," Cook said. "He showed me that that's where I want to be and that's where I want to take my talents to."

Rice and his staff were apparently pretty convincing, as they got Cook to commit to UNLV without having ever been to Las Vegas or the campus. Cook said he plans on taking his official visit to UNLV sometime this fall.

The recruiting battle for Cook began to first pick up steam last summer after he was named the MVP in the 16-U division of the Super Showcase event in Orlando, Fla.

Cook got the attention of the UNLV staff earlier this summer through a connection with newly-hired UNLV assistant Heath Schroyer, who is from Maryland and still has several deep recruiting ties back there. After getting an impressive first impression upon seeing Cook play, the staff put on the press. Rice was most recently on-hand to see him play in a tournament in Milwaukee last weekend.

Securing a commitment from Cook now was huge for the Rebels, as Cook has begun to make a bigger name for himself this summer.

He built off of last summer's success some more in April, with a trip to Italy with an under-19 U.S.A. Elite Select team in April, where in the title game he tallied 31 points and took home tournament MVP honors. He averaged 21 points over the five-game run.

While he is capable of scoring big at times, UNLV coveted him because of his abilities as a pure point guard.

ESPN's scouting services grade Cook out at an 85 on a scale of 1-100, and he's seen by many at this point as a great under-the-radar get for the Rebels.

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  1. Nice work! Good to see Rice and the other coaches land some east coast talent. Hopefully this will help the team break into that market in the future. Four more to go!

  2. 1 down 4 to go. Cook looks pretty solid, and can learn a lot before he takes the reigns. Looks like he can shoot pretty well too, which never hurts.

  3. I doubt an unranked, "under the radar" kid had firm offers from all the schools mentioned(plus a handful others?) in the article...

  4. He did.

  5. When he takes his official visit, hopefully he lands at night. Nothing like flying into this city when it is all lit up. And that the trams to the D gates are operational. Ryan do you have any thoughts?

  6. Well, he's a 2 star at one site and 58th at his position on ESPN. I can't find any offers other than UNLV.

    For example: http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&...

  7. I have no doubt the other schools had him on their radar. I don't understand why a lot of people discount UNLV's basketball program. Nothing but haters in Vegas. Can't wait for them to all come out of the woodwork when the season is underway.

  8. "Under the radar" huh, where have i heard that before? I was kind of hoping to get that kid from California for the 1, oh well. It's not like landing Anthony Bennet, but we'll see. Welcome to Vegas, kid. Enjoy wearing the scarlet and grey

  9. Good pick up - Really excited to see who else we add. Go Rebs!

  10. @logic your list links south florida, WV, charlotte, Maryland, and VT and you are saying there was no interest? Once a verbal is made, the status changes.

  11. Sofakingbored--Nope, in fact the site that I provided the link to shows no offer from the other schools. I do think from another search South Florida may have offered but that's it as far as I've seen

    My real point is that the Sun makes it look like UNLV won a hard fought recruiting battle against some decent Div 1 schools when it appears that Cook, like many nice prospects, merely was the recipient of recruiting feelers. That's a long way from being extended an offer for a scholarship from those schools.

    Here's more: http://thehuskyhaul.com/2011/07/21/uw-ho...

    Go all the way to the bottom and you'll find one line referring to Cook.
    Notice that there's no mention of an offer from the Huskies.

    Cook might turn out to be a nice pick-up for the Rebels. Time will tell.

    It's just that the story of how much in demand he was/is appears to be somewhat exaggerated.

  12. Come on, really you guys are complaining about a recruit just because you cant find any information on him? Why dont you guys get into a reality that we are not Kentucky or North Carolina and getting a recruit from the East coast that has the upside this kid does is excellent. Im sure he has a lot of offers and Im sure Greene isnt just making stuff up(he's the sports writer with the knowledge) compared to you, an internet junky who thinks that they know a lot. UNLV lands a solid recruit to fill a void. Its not the early 90's any more, move on.

  13. Here is a link with more information striaght from cook himself, very good interview.

    http://unlv.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1...

  14. @LV_24-"Im sure he has a lot of offers and Im sure Greene isnt just making stuff up(he's the sports writer with the knowledge)"

    You're "sure"? No problem. Then lets see the offers. Oh, one problem, they don't exist.

  15. @ logic

    "UNLV beat out schools such as Temple, South Florida, Washington and Seton Hall for Cook's services. Cook said that all four had offered him scholarships and had been recruiting him heavily."

    That is from Cook himself. Check the link above.

  16. Fact is Cook is a relative unknown. Guys like him don't get multiple offers form the schools he names plus the imaginary "handful of others" unnamed.

    I challenge anyone to prove that these supposed offers exist. Cook or his handlers is exaggerating, dreaming, or lying. End of story...

  17. It is possible to blow hot air at one another for long time without getting the point. Regardless if Ryan wrote the article with "rose colored glasses" or not I cannot imagine anyone on this blog having better judgement on recruits than Rice and his 3 assistants!

  18. Looks like logic doesn't rule with logic should rule. The logic says that people who no more than you seem to been united in the fact that he had those offers. Your logic is because rivals and scout don't spell it out word for word it must not exist. So Ryan could be lying but not the writers for scout or rivals, right. Or maybe Ryan is tracking 17 recruits and can follow them deeply and rivals follows thousands and some get overlooked and not updated. No logic.

  19. Don't feed the trolls.

  20. Guys(Ryan included), If you see the multiple scholarship offers for the "under the radar" recruit, please provide the link(s). I looked and couldn't find them. You may not like my posts but I'm just calling it as I see it. Until then......

    Crickets chirping....

  21. I could only find one reliable source of information on his scholarships. It is http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jul...

    So far the journalist seems to be very credible with inside information.

  22. Reading now that Matt Willms is high on UNLV. Maybe I'm missing something but shocked he hasn't grabbed more attention than just us, Oakland & St. Joe's? Have a good feeling about the staff's efforts to land quality kids - should be a nice next 4 - 5 years @the T&M.

  23. I just read this article and it took me 2 minutes to find this from one of his local papers:

    Cook -- who helped the Panthers to a 2-0 record last weekend at the inaugural Karcher & Wise Spring Classic at St. Frances -- said he looks forward to more "exposure" this spring and summer on the circuit. He already has a long list of colleges that have been in contact, including George Washington, Kentucky, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, South Florida, Temple, UConn, UNC-Wilmington, VCU, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. The Bulls have already extended a scholarship offer.

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/c...