Daequan Earning Some Love In Miami

By Chris Lauderback on December 5, 2007 at 7:55 pm
Though he passed up a lottery pick contract, Cook can still afford an Escalade complete with feet from Ulohos.

With this year's Basketball Buckeyes on the shelf until Coppin State comes to town December 10th, I figured I'd accomodate a recent reader request and provide a quick update on Miami rookie, instead of Buckeye sophomore, Daequan Cook.

Certainly, Cook's decision to leave OSU after his freshman season (21st pick) was questioned because he could have used another year of seasoning that would've have likely made him a lottery pick but even though he cost himself some serious dough it looks like he might have worked his way into the rotation down in South Beach. Why not? The team is garbage so playing a promising rook only makes sense.

He's averaging 11 ppg on the season and his minutes are on the uptick after playing in just 2 of Miami's first 6 games. The door opened when D Wade went down for a spell affording Cook minutes in 4 straight games. Cook responded shooting nearly 50% from the floor averaging a modest 8.3 ppg while committing only 2 turnovers. Not dazzling numbers, but solid complimentary numbers for a guy playing for a coach who hates rookies.

Cook caught the flu about the same time Wade came back and missed the next three games but his play in the last four has given Riley even more reason to insert Cook into the lineup. He's averaged 12.3 ppg, shot 100% (16/16) from the stripe and turned it over just 3 times in 86 minutes. As a result, Riley has indicated we'll see more of Da Quan on da floor.

The beat writers have also taken notice including one who suggests its time for Cook to start and a couple dudes who like to rank stuff have Cook listed as one of their top 10 rookies.

I can't say I'm shocked he's earning some praise but the real question is whether he can continue to improve and then produce consistent performances considering his ups and downs in Columbus. One thing is certain, nobody thought Cook would have a better rookie season than his fellow running mates Oden and Conley but that's exactly what's going to happen.