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Cooke’s Kitchen

This is it folks. The death march of the sports year. The NBA is over, pro and college football are still 8 weeks away, and unless you’re a diehard baseball fan who tries to watch all 162 games, you won’t care much until September. Which means it’s time to get some sanity back and start looking ahead at the upcoming (5 months out) Flyers season and the new troops Archie added to the squad. We’re going to make an effort to bring as much content as we can throughout the summer to keep Sweater Nation salivating for this season, and what we’re all expecting to be another hell of a ride. Over the next several days we’re going to be featuring a series of short blogs on every new player who will toss on the Red and Blue this fall. So buckle up, kick back, and enjoy this presentation of in-depth hoops analytics (WikiPedia/Google/YouTube) and half-assed photo edits (MS Paint).

Part One: Charles Cooke, G, 6’6″, 200 lbs

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Nickname: Tre
Birthday: July 1, 1994
Major: General Studies 
AAU Team: NJ ABC

Can’t help but hope that nickname comes from his performance behind the arch. Charles Cooke announced his transfer last year from James Madison University where he played two seasons for the Dukes. After announcing his intentions to transfer, it was between Michigan State, Rhode Island, and Dayton (sorry bout ya, Izzo). Not the first recruiting victory for Archie vs. a Big Ten school either, which we’ll get into later on.

After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, you have to hope the kid wants to come out flying, He started 40 of 62 games at JMU, clocking 1,781 minutes and averaged 14.3 ppg his sophomore season (613 total points in two seasons) which earned him Third Team All-Colonial Athletic Association. He shot .415 from the field and a solid .718 from the line.

Despite sitting on the bench last season, this November won’t be Cooke’s first game on UD Arena’s floor. JMU reached the NCAA’s during his freshman season, after a 25-11 campaign placed them in the first round at UD Arena vs. LIU and a second round game vs. Indiana. Cooke scored 15 and 18 in those games, respectively.

Before College:

  • Attended/played for Trenton Catholic Academy (Trenton, New Jersey)
  • As a sophomore, Trenton Catholic captured the Parochial B state championship and won the New Jersey Tournament of Champions
  • Rated 11th best prospect from New Jersey by ESPN, 68th in his region and 83rd nationally at the small forward position
  • Played for Team NJABC (AAU)

I’m going to start this series off with a bold prediction right off the bat: Cooke will be the best ball handler on the team. Don’t believe me? Good because you probably shouldn’t, but have a look anyway:

Season highs from his sophomore season at JMU:

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Summary: We only have two fairly-decent seasons in the Colonial Athletic Association, composed of teams you can see in the stats above, to judge. But one thing’s for sure: Cooke likes to shoot, and while he’s still pretty raw, let’s not forget the last time Archie had a transfer come in with an entire year to work on that part of his game. With a full year of practice with Archie and our team under his belt, there’s no reason to not have high hopes for him this season.

Thoughts/Comments/Death Threats: @KTuleta

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Welcome To The Splash Zone

A little over a week has passed since Sweater nation tossed their beer + blood stained sweaters into the drawer to rest until next fall. Archie is locked in for another year and we’ve got 6 or 7 new players to look forward to, along with our remaining core. But before we completely dim the lights on another Flyer season, let’s keep the candle burning one more night.

For those of you living under a rock the last week (or anyone who cut ties with the tournament once Oklahoma happened), I’m talking about the 3-point shootout tonight on ESPN, where Jordan Sibert will toss on his Flyer tunic one last time.

(Side note: HAVE to appreciate this all-time end to a senior season. “Last” home game in our house on March 3rd. Then Boise gave him another. And now, a few days after bowing out to Oklahoma, getting the call to rep the Flyers in Indianapolis tonight for the shootout.)

A look at his competition’s stats from behind the arc:

  • Alex Barlow – Butler (103 made on 290 attempts = 36%)
  • Matt Carlino – Marquette (240 made on 666 attempts = 36%)
  • Corey Hawkins – UC Davis (176 made on 434 attempts = 41%)
  • Ryan Boatright – UConn (199 made on 524 attempts = 38%)
  • Darrun Hillard – Villanova (209 made on 569 attempts = 37%)
  • Patrick Connaughton – Notre Dame (268 made on 695 attempts = 39%)
  • Kevin Pangos – Gonzaga (332 made on 776 attempts = 42%)
  • Jordan Sibert: 163 made on 424 attempts = 38%

Take it away Larry!

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My point: when it comes to tomorrow, no one should care about the stats or competition. This is going to be flat out fun. I’ve seen all I need from Sibert and can’t ask for anything more. The game winners against IPFW + Boise to the nonstop catch-and-shoot three’s over the last two (CHRIST why wasn’t it four) seasons. Facts are facts, the kid is immune to pressure.

Regardless of whether or not he buries these other guys tonight, I’m going to kick back and enjoy a NO PRESSURE Dayton basketball appearance on ESPN and watch this kid give it his all one more time for the red and blue.

Now cue The Splash Zone, one last time for old time’s sake.

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P.S. Can’t not mention Hoover will be competing in the Women’s 3 point shootout tonight as well. Now while I only saw a few minutes of her this season, she flat out gets BUCKETS and will be extremely competitive against anyone out there tonight.

Are we really Booing Anthony Bennett out there?

Chris Fedor’s article from cleveland.com:

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cavs have gotten off to a slow start, and the fans are letting them hear about it.

After last night’s loss to the Washington Wizards, 98-91, the team dropped to 4-8 on the young season. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has preached patience on Twitter, saying how much of the season is still ahead of the team. Head coach Mike Brown has talked about it being a process. 

But this is not what the Cavs had envisioned, not after they brought Brown back to add some defense and after they spent money in free agency on Earl Clark, Jarrett Jack and Andrew Bynum.

team meeting less than 10 games into the season wasn’t part of the Cavs’ plan. Being showered with boos while trailing the Washington Wizards by 27 points on their own home court wasn’t either. Nor was first-overall pick Anthony Bennett accounting for more air balls than made field goals. Bennett is now 5 of 37 from the field. 

Fans are frustrated. Last night, after Bennett’s latest three-point attempt failed to brush the rim, boos rained down on the struggling rook. Hearing the gesture caused fans and media members on Twitter to express how they felt.

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I’ll probably get eaten alive for this. Truth be told I’m on both sides here. But are we really booing this guy 3 weeks into his career? Come on. I get it, we’ve been skeptical about Bennett since day one, and his .001% stats are backing that up. Still can’t be slightly bummed out to see fans boo a guy who’s not only new to the league but new to the city. We’re better than that, and have enough issues to worry about. Don’t get me wrong, I was sick to my stomach watching us get smoked by the Wizards the other night. Going into halftime down that many points embarrassed everyone. It’s 12 games into the year. We’re all used to hearing “be patient” for all of our teams, but this year I truly feel patience will pay off. Jack and Waiters will improve, Kyrie will start playing out of his mind again, and who knows – maybe we’ll see some oldschool Bynum come out of no where. 

Let’s give the kid a chance.

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Monster new hotel coming to Cleveland

Looks like I’m a couple weeks behind on this one, oh well. Makes for a nice break from the 200 “What Browns Need To Do On Sunday” articles I’ve been inhaling all day.

John Kosich from cleveland.com:

CLEVELAND – For the first time in a long time, the skyline of Cleveland will be changing and for the first time, the public was given a glimpse Tuesday of what the newest addition will look like, as architects presented their initial design for the new 30-story Hilton Convention Center Hotel to Cuyahoga County Council.

The $260 million hotel will be built on the site of the soon to be demolished Cuyahoga County Administration Building. It will be owned by the county but operated by Hilton.

“It won’t be the tallest building in Cleveland but it will be extremely prominent because of its location,” said Project Management Consultant Jeff Appelbaum.

“We have a convention center that’s largely underground so you really don’t know necessarily that the convention center is there. This becomes sort of the icon for the convention center,” he said.

The hotel will feature a four-story base or podium that will feature the hotel’s lobby, ballroom and connections to the adjacent convention center. Above will be a 26-story hotel tower that will feature around 600 rooms, all with views of both Lake Erie and the city.

Another two-story meeting place will be featured on the hotel’s 25th floor with a terrace overlooking the lake.

Atlanta-based architects at Cooper Carry say they approached the project with reverence.

“It’s sacred ground,” said Architect Pope Bullock. “Daniel Burnham and the Group Plan, it’s one of the most important pieces of urban landscape in America so we approached the site with great respect and care.”

What was presented to county council is what’s called a schematic design.

“It really shows how the building lays out. It shows the general form of the building. It shows all the important rooms in the building,” Appelbaum said, though it’s not set in stone.

One example is parking. The designs presented Tuesday called for two levels of below surface parking that would create about 300 spots.

“That parking right now beneath the surface is about $60,000 per space, obviously very expensive to build that parking down there,” said Appelbaum, who added they will look at alternate parking solutions but it’s nothing that will slow work on the project.

“It’s referred to as a bridging design build project. It’s a fast track which means we start some elements of the work while we’re designing others,” he said.

Timing is important if Cleveland decides to make an expected bid for either the Republican or Democratic National Conventions.

“I think you’re going to hear something about that whole process in the next few weeks,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

“It’s not just those big political conventions. There’s a whole slew of other conventions that we’re now going to be competitive with as a result of this hotel,” added FitzGerald, who likes what he sees in the initial renderings.

“So far, I think what people see is something that both respects kind of our tradition and traditional architecture but also is going to be kind of a statement of what Cleveland can be like in the 21st century and I think it kind of blends those things and that’s what we wanted to see,” he said.

Fitzgerald says it is nearly a done deal. It will still need the final approval by the Cuyahoga County Council.

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You can’t be from Cleveland and not be pumped about this. It’s just good to finally see our city building new shit. Yeah it’s only a hotel, but we’ll take anything we can get at this point. Not sure about everyone else but I’m a little bored of only having 2 buildings to look at. The fact that one building can toss us into potential “2016 Presidential Convention” talks isn’t a bad deal either.

Construction starts in February and is slated to be ready to roll Spring 2016. Nice work, Cuyahoga. Keep it up.

Click here to see images and designs

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Smoked on a Sunday

How every Monday post-Browns game discussion starts:

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I’m either the least intelligent Browns fan on the planet or just too naive to have high hopes after a Bye week.  It’s like a mid-season holiday – no Sunday anxiety, depression, or risk of throwing my shoe through the TV.

There’s nothing more horrifying than going up 13-0 real quick against a solid opponent. That second quarter was Cleveland Sports to a T. 31 points? You kidding me? Two TD’s for Dalton, a blocked punt and fumble sealed the deal before the half was even over. My glass is always half full with the boys but there aren’t a whole lot of positives to take away from this afternoon. We had a chance to chip away at the division and start a (premature) “Wildcard” discussion but saw that disappear with 15 minutes of miserable defense.

Zero reason why we can’t get a couple W’s over the next two weeks against Pittsburgh and the London Jaguars. Need to get the basics back in gear and come out flying against an equally-miserable (for once) Steelers team next Sunday.

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