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NBA Draft 2017 Profile: Dayton’s Charles Cooke has NBA Versatility

After two standout years at Dayton, Cooke may be ready to make the leap

Wichita State v Dayton Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

For the past two years, Charles Cooke, a 6’5, swiss-army-knife multitool guard that can get to the rim and connect from deep, lit up the A-10 under Archie Miller’s tutelage. After two years at James Madison University in which he increased his scoring from 5.8 points per game in his freshman year to 14.3 in his sophomore campaign, Cooke transferred to Dayton to continue his college career.

Cooke quickly became the preeminent scorer for the Flyers, bolstering a lineup that boasted the talents of Scoochie Smith and Kendall Pollard. In his two years at Dayton, Cooke averaged almost 16 points per game while pulling down about five-and-a-half boards per contest.

The former Flyer now wades into the uncertain bog of pre-draft workouts and Summer League competition in an effort to make a name for himself in the league.

But does he have the talent to make it?

Let’s take a look at his game.

Strengths

As I mentioned before, Cooke has a lot of tools at his disposal. At 6’5, he is a combo guard that has shown confidence in his ability to get to the rim, especially on the fast break.

His size also makes him a good rebounder. He grabbed 5.1 rebounds per game last year for the Flyers — tied for first on the team.

But Cooke isn’t just comfortable playing at the rim; he can open up a game with the three as well. Cooke shot 39.8% from beyond the arc in his senior season.

Cooke did everything for the Flyers, and his versatility is evident in the numbers. Here’s how he ranked among his fellow teammates in the 2015-16 season.

Points: 1st

Rebounds: 1st

Assists: 2nd

Blocks: 2nd

Steals: 4th

Weaknesses

Cooke weighs in at just a hair under 200 pounds, and his size begs the question of his ability to rebound against bigger, stronger NBA players.

Further, due of Cooke’s propensity for the three-ball, he can be inconsistent at times, and if his shots aren’t falling, he can disappear in a game. The Flyers’ leading scorer had six games in his senior season in which he tallied single-digit points. In such games, he shot 16.7% from deep.

While his versatility can be a strength, it also makes you wonder if he has a unique skill with which he can help an NBA team. If he does make an NBA roster, he would be a role player coming off of the bench. Is he a skilled enough shooter to be a marksman for an NBA squad? Will he bulk up enough to be able to get to the rim among the physical centers of the NBA? Will he be a jack of all trades and a master of none? Only time will tell.

Projection

All that being said, don’t hold your breath waiting for Cooke’s name to be called Thursday night. But, as we wrote this week, that’s okay. Cooke’s scoring talent and versatility will likely land him an opportunity in the Summer League where he, along with many others, has the potential to make a splash an earn a spot on an NBA roster.