|Junior||6’9″ 250||Power Foward||Iowa||DOB: 9/23/97|
|14.5 ppg||7.6 rpg||2.4 apg||FG: 51%||FT: 64.4%|
Strengths: Athleticism, Mobility, Strength, Inside Scoring
Weaknesses: Outside Shooting, Average Production, Scoring outside of the paint
Cook has started every game but one over the past 3 seasons, putting up plenty of highlight plays while becoming one of the most exciting players in college basketball. His athleticism is top level, having not only the ability to throw down a big dunk, but being a player that welcomes the opportunity to put a defender on a poster. He has good mobility/agility for being 6’9″ and 250 pounds, getting by defenders on the fast break or when driving to the basket. In fast break situations is where Cook shines, not only with the highlight dunks, but being able to finish around the basket in multiple ways. Most of Cook’s production came around the basket on put backs, dunks, and lobs although he did show the ability to score with his back to the basket as well. His strength is impressive, and he would immediately be one of the stronger players on a team, should he earn a roster spot. The strength and athleticism allow him to rebound the ball well, averaging 7.6 per game as a junior and he will need to rebound at a high level to have a chance of becoming an impact player as a professional. With his strength and athletic abilities, he can be a solid defender at the next level, being able to guard multiple positions. Cook did not get a large number of blocks in his college years, however he has shown flashes of what he can do on the defensive side of the ball.
His outside shooting is the biggest question mark in his game, going 3-15 on three point attempts in three college seasons. The mechanics of his jump shot are solid, and he has been able to hit mid-range jumpers, which will be necessary for him as a professional. If he can extend his game out to the three point line he will become a much more versatile offensive threat, and it will open more opportunities for him to use his athleticism and get to the basket. Many scouts and analysts use free throw shooting as a barometer for your shooting potential, and his 64.4% from the line as a junior brings some apprehension when projecting his potential improvement in that area of his game. The fact that he did not put up big numbers, especially after his offensive statistics dipped from his sophomore to junior season, is a concern. As a sophomore he averaged 15.3 points per game, and then his numbers dipped to 14.3 as a junior while being less efficient. With that said he has improved as a passer, especially out of double teams, and if he can be an effective defender as a professional these two attributes will go a long way with helping him find a role on a roster as he becomes more comfortable outside of the paint.
This play shows his ability to make a move and finish at the rim:
Tyler Cook, destroyer of rims pic.twitter.com/XUSCcnhins— On Iowa (@GazetteOnIowa) January 4, 2019
Here is an example of his elite athleticism:
“Tyler does some crazy stuff…you should see him in practice.” 👀— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) March 15, 2019
It might’ve been the dunk of the #B1GTourney, but where does @iamtc25‘s sick inbounds alley-oop rank among his @IowaHoops teammates’ favorites?#BTN x @YahooSports pic.twitter.com/VKRPVIi3fI
Cook is projected to either go undrafted or to be selected in the back half of the second round. His ceiling as a professional is a starter level forward, possibly coming off of the bench receiving significant minutes providing solid defense and athletic play making. The worst case scenario for Cook is that he is unable to expand his game outside of the paint leading him to be in a limited defensive minded role, or ending up in the G League/overseas.