Every so often, Daquan Cook gets that itch to step on the court. For the past several months, Cook got that feeling more than ever before.
Cook, a 6-foot-2, 165-pound point guard, transferred to Digital Harbor from St. Frances after the first semester. He had hoped to suit up for the Rams at some point during the second semester, but his eligibility wasn’t resolved because of the transfer.
While Cook has already played for Nike Baltimore Elite this spring, Saturday’s Maryland Super 60 Showcase at St. Paul's finally gave him a chance to show local fans what he’s capable of doing on the court.
“[I’m] real crafty,” said Cook, who scored nine points for Team Baltimore. “I can do a lot with the ball, make exciting plays. My passing ability is my best attribute.”
Digital Harbor loses Davon Usher (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) and Justin Jackson to graduation, leaving a starring role to Cook there for the taking.
“My role next year, I’m [going to] have to do a lot,” Cook said. “But we’re bringing in some guys, some big men, some sophomores and freshmen. We’re going to be good next year.”
While Cook hasn’t done much in high school yet, he’s already well known on the AAU circuit. He helped his Nike Baltimore Elite 16-and-under squad to the silver bracket championship at the Boo Williams Invitational in Hampton, Va., earlier this month.
Cook said he’s in no rush when it comes to recruiting, but he’s hearing from plenty of programs -- including one he grew up following closely.
“Maryland, South Florida, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, a lot of ACC schools,” Cook said. “I liked Maryland growing up. I like Maryland.”
• Glenelg Country forward Isaiah Miles doesn’t waste opportunities to work on his game -- even if it’s in an all-star setting.
“This game actually helped me a lot, working on my dribbling,” said Miles, who scored eight points for Team Maryland on Saturday. “They don’t play as much defense as in regular games ... but I feel good. I had fun.”
Miles, a 6-foot-7 small forward, entered his sophomore season with a decent amount of hype. After averaging 18.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.3 blocks for the Dragons this year, it’s safe to say he lived up to those expectations. Miles has big plans this summer to continue improving his game.
“The main thing is [playing for] Team Melo and working with my body and getting stronger,” Miles said. “Working on my dribbling and my jumper.”
Miles said Maryland, Massachusetts and Xavier have been recruiting him the hardest. He doesn’t have any concrete plans to make college visits this summer, but one trip earlier this year still stands out in his mind.
“The Maryland-Duke game was crazy,” Miles said of the Terps’ regular-season win over the Blue Devils at Comcast Center. “The atmosphere was crazy.”
• For John Crowder, sophomore year was all about making the best out of a less-than-ideal situation.
Crowder, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward, showed plenty of potential as a freshman at Towson Catholic and looked forward to leading the Owls to the upper echelon of the Baltimore Catholic League as a sophomore.
When the Archdiocese of Baltimore announced Towson Catholic’s closing last summer, Crowder was forced to look for a new home. His eventual landing spot, Mount Carmel, proved to be an excellent fit.
“Well it [was] good,” said Crowder, who averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds this season. “Obviously I wanted to stay at Towson Catholic, but it was good. I made all-conference as a sophomore.”
On Saturday, Crowder scored two points in the Class of 2012 game and 11 in the 2011 contest. His cousin and guardian, Brodie Crowder, coached him in the first game.
Crowder, who plays AAU ball with Nike Baltimore Elite, is already hearing from several high-major schools.
“I’m getting letters from Maryland, Virginia Tech, Clemson, St. Joseph’s, a bunch of A-10s and ACC schools,” Crowder said. “For me being from Maryland, I liked Maryland growing up and watching Maryland.”
• There’s very little finesse in Charles Tapper’s game. The City sophomore plays with a lot of intensity, welcoming physical contact and delighting in “the dirty stuff.”
“Came out hard, came out strong, played strong,” Tapper said. “I like to do ... the stuff that don’t get noticed.”
On Saturday, it was impossible not to notice Tapper’s play. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound forward was the strongest sophomore on the court, grabbing rebounds and throwing down vicious dunks en route to an 11-point performance.
Tapper’s play Saturday was a continuation of his sophomore-season success, in which he helped City to its second straight Class 2A state championship. He started for the Knights and averaged about 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Tapper, who’s suiting up for Nike Baltimore Elite, is working on his ballhandling and shooting this summer. Cincinnati and West Virginia have already expressed interest. It’s early on in the process, but Tapper knows the style of play he wants in a program.
“I like to play tough and strong,” Tapper said. “That’s my kind of play. Run and gun.”
Other notables: Gilman guard Cyrus Jones showed exceptional quickness and looked the part of a high-major prospect with his 14-point performance for Team Maryland. He’ll have plenty of college options for basketball and football. ... IBE small forward Quentin Judd is a high flyer with definite high-major potential. Judd and freshman Anton Waters should form a potent 1-2 punch for the Warriors in the years to come. ... City guard Lionel Greene will make an immediate impact for the Knights next season. The 6-foot-3 guard sat out after transferring from John Carroll this year, but will be ready to go as a junior. With Greene, Tapper, Nick Faust, Mike Cheatham and Rashaun Rasheed returning, City has serious three-peat potential in Class 2A.
Check back with Recruiting Report later this week for more on the Maryland Super 60 Showcase.