Five Seniors Conclude Memorable Wyoming Career
Game Tips at 11:40 a.m. MT in KeyArena in Seattle
Game is Rematch of 2006 Conference Championship Game
Adams Named MW Tournament MVP
Wyoming Beat Broncos on Jan. 10 in Laramie
USATSI photos of MW Tournament -- 3/13/15
NCAA Basketball: Utah State at Wyoming (USATSI)
Men's Basketball defeated Nevada, 64-58; Credit: USA Today (USATSI)
USATSI photos men's basketball -- 2/7/15
Wyoming vs. Boise State
2014-15: Derek Cooke Jr. (pronounced Cook) was one of five seniors on the 2014-15 squad that helped lead Wyoming to a Mountain West tournament title and its first NCAA tournament since 2001-02. He was the only Cowboy to start all 35 games, as he averaged 8.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, 0.9 assists and 0.9 steals in 26.3 minutes per game. He shot a team-best 72 percent from the field, while his 5.8 boards ranked second on the team and eighth in the MW. He posted four double-doubles during the season, including 15 games in double-figure points and six games with double-figure rebounds. His top performance was 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds at Fresno State on Jan. 17. He also tied a career high with 15 points twice during the season. His two free throws with seven seconds left in the MW title game sealed Wyoming's win. He also paced the Pokes with 64 dunks during the season.
2013-14: Cooke started 32 of Wyoming's 33 games in 2013-14. He averaged 6.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.9 blocks in 22.6 minutes per game, while shooting a team-high 63 percent from the field. His 62.9 percent (83-of-132) was third in Wyoming single-season history. During 2013-14, he ranked second on the team in rebounds and blocks and fifth in points. Cooke had five games in double-figure points and six games in double-figure rebounds with one double-double. His top performance was 12 points, 11 rebounds and a block against South Dakota on Nov. 22 for his third-straight game with at least 10 boards. Cooke also grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds against South Dakota on Dec. 7 and notched a career-high four blocks against Fresno State on Feb. 18. His one-handed dunk on an alley-oop from Larry Nance Jr. against No. 5 San Diego State on Feb. 11 was featured that night as ESPN SportsCenter's No. 1 play.
2012-13: Cooke served as Wyoming's first big man off the bench during the 2012-13 season, as he was one of three Cowboys to play in all 34 games. He played double-figure minutes in 13 of the last 15 games, including making his first career start at San Diego State on Feb. 19. Cooke scored in double figures in three games and grabbed double-figure rebounds in two contests, including his first career double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds at CSU Bakersfield on Feb. 6. He also added two steals and two assists. Cooke notched a career-high 15 points versus UNLV on Feb. 23 in a career-high 28 minutes of action. He posted 12 points against Northern Colorado on Nov. 21 and notched 11 rebounds at Colorado State on Feb. 2. Cooke averaged 3.1 points per game, while his 3.8 rebounds were third on the team. He also added 10 blocks and seven steals. He played more than 10 minutes in 22 games during the season.
Before Wyoming: Cooke spent two seasons at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan., before transferring to Wyoming in the summer of 2012. He will have three years of eligibility with the Cowboys.
Cooke redshirted the 2010-11 season at Cloud County under head coach Chad Eshbaugh, before excelling in 2011-12. He helped the Thunderbirds to a 25-8 overall record during the season. Cloud County went 11-5 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and advanced to the semifinals of the NJCAA Division I Region VI Tournament. Cooke notched team highs of 8.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 55 percent from the floor to go with 6.0 points and nearly one steal per game.
Cooke attended Friendly High School in Washington, D.C., where he was a 6-2 wide receiver on the football team and did not play basketball. An NCAA qualifier after graduating, he decided to take a year off from school and hit a growth spurt, before enrolling at Cloud County to play his first organized basketball.
Personal: The son of Derek Sr. and stepson of Tyrone and Debbie Slade, Derek Jr. was born on Aug. 23, 1991, in Washington, D.C. He is majoring in sociology at Wyoming and was also recruited by Missouri State, Evansville and UNC-Greensboro.