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Preseason Top 25 Player Countdown: #3 Charles Cooke

Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top Pre-Season Top 25 Player Countdown for the 2016-17 season. Each day, we’ll be publishing a new article counting down our best 25 players for the coming season. Today, we feature  Charles Cooke of Dayton.

What He’s Done

As a fifth year senior, Charles Cooke has seen a lot in his college career. Cooke spent his first two years at James Madison University before transferring to Dayton. After sitting out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Cooke made a huge impact for the Flyers last season. The 6’5″ guard started nearly every game of his junior season at Dayton and put up some impressive numbers to show for it. Averaging 15.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, Cooke proved his talent from the start. In just Dayton’s second game of the season, Cooke dropped 21 points and grabbed 7 boards to lead the Flyers to a dominating win over Alabama.

Not only did Cooke start hot last season, he stayed hot. In 12 games over the course of the 2015-16 season, Cooke scored over 20 points. To go along with his ability to light up the scoreboard, Cooke also displays great rebounding potential. Early in the year, Archie Miller challenged Cooke to put his strong 6’5″ frame to further use and become a great rebounder. Cooke responded, pulling down a career high 15 boards in a win over Furman. Cooke’s impressive play throughout the year earned him a spot on both the All Atlantic 10 First Team and the All A-10 Defensive Team. While those honors must feel nice for Cooke, one can be certain he is not satisfied. The Flyers lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year to Syracuse; this time around, Cooke hopes to take Dayton deep into the Dance.

What He’ll Do

Entering his senior season at Dayton, Cooke and the Flyers will look to build off of last year. With Scoochie Smith, Kyle Davis, and Kendall Pollard all returning, Dayton will have a senior laden starting lineup. Last year the Flyers earned a share of the A-10 title; this season, however, Cooke hopes to lead Dayton to an outright conference title.

If Cooke keeps up and improves upon his play from last season, the redshirt senior could find himself competing for A-10 Player of the Year. This is easier said than done though as ballers like E.C. Matthews, Jack Gibbs, and Jaylen Adams will all be gunning for the award as well. Along with putting up big numbers, a winning an outright conference title would go a long way in helping Cooke secure A-10 Player of the Year honors.

Here’s a quick look back at Cooke’s 2015-16 season. If the senior continues flying high and shooting 40% from three, the 2016-17 season could become a very special year.

Previously: #4 E.C. Matthews

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Grant Kelly is a sophomore finance and marketing major at the University of Dayton. He has been attending college basketball games since birth and has...