Mike Cook and Moving On

As some of you might know by now, Mike Cook has been denied a 6th year of eligibility by the NCAA. I have to say that, especially after the Ben Mauk situation with Cincinnati a few weeks ago, I wasn’t too surprised that Cook was turned down. The key here was that he played in 11 out of the 32 “qualifying” games (our 6 postseason games turn into 1 when determining a medical redshirt), when he would have had to play in only 10 in order to qualify for the medical redshirt. All I see this as is just another example of the NCAA turning a blind eye to the situation and just going by the rules to make their decision. A disappointing situation for Mike, definitely, but the school has said that if he wishes to continue his studies at the University, they will allow him to do so.

The one thing that most people seem to be forgetting right now is that we have a really good small forward who played a large part in winning the Big East title last year. Gil Brown will be a redshirt sophomore this year and I think he could be up for pulling a Sam Young and win Most Improved Player in the Big East. He’s got a 3-point shot (I know it was very sketchy last year so was Sam Young’s two years ago), the athletic ability to really take the ball to the hoop as well as push it on the fast break, and can play some really solid defense. He went through some growing pains, certainly, but I think this should be a huge year for Gil. If not him, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Brad Wanamaker really step up this year. He had a great game in high school and, while flashes of it showed last year, he’s going to really wow fans at some point with a much more complete basketball game than we witnessed in his few appearances.

I never want to say that losing a player of Cook’s caliber, leadership, and integrity is a good thing, but this case certainly does have a silver lining. We have a great basketball player in Gil Brown waiting to step into the starting lineup, as well as some talented freshmen (Ashton Gibbs, Nasir Robinson) and sophomores (Brad Wanamaker) to step in, get some experience, and play some real Pitt basketball.

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One Response to “Mike Cook and Moving On”

  1. Drew Margulis Says:

    i agree about brad…he looked flat out nasty in most of his summer league games…jermaine dixon could fill some major minutes too…like u said, it is disappointing to lose mike, and more disappointing that the ncaa really doesn’t care about their athletes ($$$$$), but pitt is deep enough and has a great freshman class coming in to fill the hole


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