The roller coaster ride for URI fans continues. First, it swelled when it was announced that Jarvis Garrett had officially signed his National Letter of Intent. But that quickly changed once word surfaced that Preston Murphy was leaving for Boston College. So we’re now due for the roller coaster to peak again, right? Well some potentially exciting news surfaced yesterday that has Rhody fans buzzing – even if it’s just (fun) speculation at this point.
Here’s what’s going down. Word surfaced late yesterday that Oregon State guard and former Saint Anthony star Hallice Cooke would be leaving the Beavers and looking to transfer. Obviously the “former Saint Anthony star” part sets off bells for many Rhode Island fans, and Kevin McNamara (ProJo) was one of the first to float the idea (tweet is [sic]).
Rhode Island will take a transfer; ex-Oregon State (and St. Anthony's) guard Hallice Cook now available.
— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) April 21, 2014
A refresher for those that may not know: Dan Hurley is an alum of Saint Anthony High School. Oh, and his father, Bob Hurley, Sr., is the head basketball coach at the New Jersey high school, and has been since 1972. So between those two factors, the Rams are at least connected to Cooke. Does that mean they’ll pursue him? Did they even pursue him back in 2012, before he signed with Oregon State?
The answer to that question is murky, depending on what you read. According to Verbal Commits and 247Sports, yes, Rhode Island offered Cooke. But per Rivals and ESPN, the Rams either weren’t involved, or not interested enough to gain a mention on their respective recruiting sites.
So who knows. But here’s what we do know: Cooke can ball. In his freshman season at Oregon State, the NJ native averaged 8.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Listed by some as a combo guard, the 6’3″ Cooke reached double-figures in scoring 11 times on the season, and turned in arguably his best game of the year in the first round of the CBI. In what turned out to be the Beavers’ final game of the 2013-14 season, Cooke dropped 23 points on 10-14 shooting in a 96-92 loss to Radford. Sure, he’d have to sit out a full season due to NCAA rules, but make no mistake: Rhody could use a player like Cooke. He could potentially be not only a solid replacement for Xavier Munford (albeit a year late), but a perfect compliment to players like E.C. Matthews and Jarvis Garrett.
So will URI try to land Hallice Cooke? Like they maybe possibly did two years ago? Only time will tell. But he’s certainly worth a shot.