After playing his first two years for James Madison University, Charles Cooke transferred to Dayton and Flyer fans are glad he did. He proved his worth early this season, replacing suspended forward Dyshawn Pierre for the first ten games. In just his second game as a Flyer, Cooke scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds in a 80-48 win over Alabama. He followed up that performance by notching 18 points in a win against William and Mary, then had 22 points in a big win against Iowa. Cooke’s offensive production aided the Flyer’s tremendously during the tough non conference schedule. He helped lead the team to a 10-2 mark entering A10 play.
Going into the season, most thought Cooke would come off the bench to back-up Pierre. Even since the return of Pierre, however, Cooke has kept his starting job and deservedly so. Cooke has scored 15 points or more in each of Dayton’s last eight games. The Flyer’s most recent game against Fordham not only yielded a win, but also Cooke’s best performance. He posted an impressive 26 points with 6 rebounds to help Dayton get the win on a snowy day at Rose Hill Gymnasium. His spectacular three point shooting and basketball IQ have certainly helped the Flyers so far this year.
Cooke’s deadly three point shooting is not the only attribute to his game though. Factor his 6’5″ frame along with elite athletic ability into the picture and you have a very well-rounded player. His combination of quickness and strength make him a unique defender. He can stay with guys smaller than him quite well, but is also willing to guard opponents bigger than himself when necessary. Cooke’s addition has definitely improved this already tough Dayton defense.
So far this season Charles Cooke is averaging 16.3 PPG while snagging over six rebounds a game. He is shooting 47% from the floor and an incredible 46% from three. This along with his defense has lead to his name being thrown around for A10 player of the year. A long way to go before that has any chance of happening, but one thing is for certain. Archie Miller and the Flyer’s coaching staff found a gem in this transfer from James Madison. Safe to say that so far this year Charles Cooke is cooking for Dayton.