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St. Frances' Daquan Cook commits to UNLV

Daquan Cook has never set foot on UNLV's campus, but that will change soon enough.

Cook, a rising senior from St. Frances, committed to the Runnin' Rebels on Thursday afternoon. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound combo guard was also recruited by La Salle, Seton Hall, South Florida, Temple and Washington.

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"I've been thinking [about committing] for a long time now," Cook said. "I'm just glad to get it over with now. It feels good."

Despite never taking a visit to UNLV, Cook said he "didn't feel any pressure" about making his choice. Dwayne Wise, director of the Under Armour-sponsored B'more Finest AAU program, said Cook was sold on first-year Rebels coach Dave Rice.

"Coach Rice, we researched him, and he did really well with Jimmer Fredette … [as the associate head coach] at BYU," said Wise, whose cousin is Cook's mother. "We researched the system, researched the school, and that's the kind of system Daquan would flourish in as a college player. Coach Rice was really influential with that system before taking the UNLV job. As we researched Coach Rice, being that he's a former player at UNLV, we think he wants to bring that kind of style back to the new UNLV. We felt as though it was the perfect system for Daquan as a point guard to develop."Said Cook: "Coach Rice, he came to a lot of my games and saw me play. He changed his flights many times to stay and watch my games. I really knew they wanted me."

Cook played sparingly as a sophomore at St. Frances, but flourished as a junior at Digital Harbor, leading the Rams to the Class 2A state championship. Cook averaged about 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists, earning Baltimore Sun second-team All-Metro honors.

After the season, Cook teamed with Patterson's Aquille Carr to lead U.S. Elite Select Basketball's under-19 team to the Junior International Tournament championship in Milan, Italy. Shortly thereafter, he decided to return to St. Frances for his senior year.

"He's an athletic point guard [and he's] really got good floor vision," said St. Frances athletic director and assistant coach Nick Myles. "He's great at getting his teammates involved. And he can score the ball."

Cook was scheduled to travel with D.C. Assault for an AAU tournament in Las Vegas this weekend, but because of conflict with his summer school schedule will instead stay in Baltimore. He plans to take an official visit to UNLV "sometime in the fall." Until then, the future Rebel is looking forward to joining a program coming off its second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

"I'm just going to bring a point guard presence [and be] a leader," Cook said. "That's what Coach Rice told me he's looking for. That's what I'm going to try to do. I'm just going to work for my playing time. ... I'm really excited to see what it's going to be like."

Baltimore Sun photo of Daquan Cook by Gene Sweeney Jr. / Feb. 28, 2011

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