Thursday, December 3, 2015

Georgetown, Texas A & M, Wichita State Now Interested In Elev8's Cook

Bouncing back from a frustrating ACL injury and dropping 16 pounds this summer, Elev8's Levi Cook is one of the nation's top bigs remaining on the recruiting market.

The 6-foot-10, 284-pound behemoth, out of Glen Daniel, W.V., has rapidly witnessed his Division-I stock grow.

Since Cook erupted for 23 points during his first performance in over six months, more high-major programs have shifted their focus to the Post-Graduate Center.

Georgetown, Texas A & M, and Wichita State are now expressing interest in Cook, a monstrous interior presence containing a pack of post moves and a feathery 18-20 foot jumper.

Providence, Virginia Tech, VCU, Ole Miss, and Longwood are also in steady pursuit of the big fella.

 Buoyed by natural ability to steer foes away from the glass, Cook has worked to improve a once-spotty defensive game.

 Blocking and manipulating shots, Cook (who de-committed from West Virginia last year) appears to be heating up at the right time.

So, where are the big corn fed country boy and his D-1 wares headed next season?

 Virginia Tech has been recruiting Cook the hardest, staying on him through the test of time.

Cook said it's a day-to-day process. He wants to take his time with such a pivotal decision the second time around.

"Levi's been rebounding like an absolute maniac," said 6-foot-5 swingman Sandro Noel, Cook's teammate and a mid-major prospect with a handful of offers.

"He's got serious strength at this level. What stands out about him is how immovable he is down low. He's able to use his size on the court while also being mobile and being able to play in the transition game."

As conventional wisdom would indicate, Providence is likely the next program to offer Cook.

 Friars assistant coach Brian Blaney has been in persistent pursuit.

Cook, who remains wide open and has no timetable, said he'll likely decide after the season.

"I like Providence and the way they play, I'm just not sure on visits until after Christmas break."

Cook has indicated, however, his respect for Friars head coach Ed Cooley. The 18-year-old post graduate admires his style of coaching, adding that Cooley "has some fire in his belly."

There are a hundred different ways of describing Cook.

Cerebral big. Beast amongst boys. Massive man-child.

High IQ, rare interior passing ability.

Light on his feet. Capable of bulldozing defenders into the paint, Cook is simultaneously a threat to take rim protecting centers 15 feet away from the basket with his mid-range game.

Playing alongside Thomas Bryant at Huntington Prep (W.V.) helped Cook expand his passing ability. He also developed an increased understanding of the interior banger role.

Consider Cook a basketball old soul.

As a young kid, he was enamored with highlight reels of hometown stars such as Jerry West, Randy Moss, and Jason "White Chocolate" Williams.

By age 12, Cook was 6-foot-4 and throwing down violent two-handed dunks.

"My grandfather basically told me, you've to play center, you're going to be a true big man. You need to stop watching guards and start watching Shaq," said Cook during an August interview.

 Cook recalls his grandfather sending him a number of VHS tapes of the Shaq/Kobe Lakers of the early 2000s.

 Before he knew it, Cook was immersed in the work of one of the NBA's all time most lethal tandems.

Emulating Shaq's game across the West Virginia playgrounds and outhustling opponents on an AAU schedule which criss-crossed the country, Cook solidified his identity as a threat on the glass.

With big, soft hands, he's a go-to target when creating seams and backing down frailer defenders in the post with relative ease.