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Gonzaga Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga guard Aaron Cook enters transfer portal

UPDATED: Tue., April 27, 2021

Gonzaga guard Aaron Cook drives against a San Diego defender during a Feb. 20 game at McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Aaron Cook drives against a San Diego defender during a Feb. 20 game at McCarthey Athletic Center. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

Aaron Cook is in the transfer portal for the second time in two seasons.

Cook, who came to Gonzaga last season as a graduate transfer from Southern Illinois, has entered the transfer portal again, according to Verbalcommits.com.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Cook came off the bench for the Zags, who had a strong guard line that grew even stronger when Florida transfer Andrew Nembhard received a waiver a few days before the season opener and became eligible immediately.

Cook averaged 4.2 points, 1.7 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game.

Cook is taking advantage of an NCAA ruling that allows basketball players an extra season of eligibility due to COVID-19’s impact on the 2021 season. He received a medical redshirt after playing in just six games for Southern Illinois during the 2020 season.

It’s unclear if Cook will be eligible immediately as a double transfer for a rare sixth season.

The St. Louis native made solid contributions in Gonzaga’s nonconference wins over Kansas, Auburn, Iowa and Virginia. He scored a season-high 15 points against Pepperdine, 12 vs. San Francisco and finished with seven assists and six points against Norfolk State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Cook averaged at least 30 minutes per game in his final three years at Southern Illinois. His 2020 season was cut short by a broken hand.

Nembhard is expected to return and direct Gonzaga’s offense. The backcourt will include five-star recruit Hunter Sallis and rising sophomores Dominick Harris and Julian Strawther.

Sallis, a 6-4 combo guard, is No. 6 in 247sports composite rankings. Harris and Strawther are in line for bigger roles after both averaged 7-plus minutes per game as freshmen.

Guards Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi declared for the NBA draft.

The Zags have brought in four grad transfer guards in the last three seasons, including Cook, Ryan Woolridge, Admon Gilder and Geno Crandall.

Cook is the third Zag this spring to enter the transfer portal. Center Oumar Ballo has committed to Arizona and center Pavel Zakharov will play at Cal Baptist.

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