Power forward isn’t just Tyler Cook’s position, it’s apparently the way he approaches life.
The Iowa basketball commit won’t be on campus for two more months, but he’s already a salesman for his new school.
On Thursday, Cook reached out to point guard Charlie Moore, a friend of his who decommitted from Memphis last week. It was an Instagram photo of the two of them with a Tigerhawk logo in the background and the message: “Let’s Make This Happen Bro!!”
As any good salesman would, Cook later ducked out of class to follow up with a phone call to Moore, who was Illinois' Mr. Basketball this year.
“A lot of people don’t realize that, though, but that’s what gets a lot of kids to make those decisions is their peers helping recruit them,” Cook said Friday.
“I know how stressful that (process) can be. I just let him know that he’s a priority for us.”
Cook, a Missouri native, played alongside Moore at the Nike Global Challenge last summer and came away impressed.
“His handle is up there with the best of them in the country. At the Global Challenge, with a bunch of top 40 kids, he was able to bring us together,” Cook said. “He’s hard-nosed and he just knows how to play.”
Cook committed to Iowa on Sept. 23 and said he recruited Moore then to follow him to Iowa City. Moore chose Memphis, but changed his mind once coach Josh Pastner left for Georgia Tech.
Moore retweeted Cook’s good-natured recruiting pitch to him.
“He seems interested as far as I can tell,” Cook said. “He keeps asking questions.”
For Cook, reaching out to potential future teammates is the norm. He said he also messaged New York point guard Christian Vital, whom he barely knew, when he saw that Iowa was among five schools he is considering. Cook even joked that he could see a future for himself as a recruiter once his playing days are over.
Of course, they haven’t even started yet. Cook is set to graduate from Chaminade College Prep School in St. Louis next month, then trek to Iowa City for orientation and a couple of summer-school classes in early June. He is rehabbing an Achilles strain that he suffered and played through during his prep school playoffs, but anticipates he’ll be completely ready to hit the court with his new teammates when he arrives.
And he has no plans to slow down on the recruiting trail in the meantime, although Cook is quick to point out that he always runs his intentions past coach Fran McCaffery and assistant Sherman Dillard.
“I consulted them before I reached out to (Moore),” Cook said. “I got the OK first from the big dogs.”