SPOKANE, Wash. — On Tuesday, Gonzaga men's basketball's backup point guard Aaron Cook put his name into the transfer portal. Many GU fans expected him to either go pro or return to Gonzaga for another year, not opt to go to another school.
Let's break down what this means for both Gonzaga and Cook.
WHY IS COOK TRANSFERRING?
Normally I would say let’s start with what this means for GU, but I think to understand that we need to first understand why Aaron Cook is most likely leaving Spokane.
I would imagine with the Zags actively looking for a combo guard in the transfer portal, plus them needing to invest in their bench for the future, Cook just wasn’t going to see a bump in minutes that would make life worth while enough for him to stay in Spokane. He definitely has potential to up his stock in college, which would translate into him earning more money professionally, but he probably wasn’t going to see a huge boost next year if he was to continue playing in a Gonzaga uniform. It was never part of Gonzaga’s plan to have Cook in Spokane more than one year, and now with Gonzaga on his pedigree, Cook can improve his professional stock elsewhere with potential starting role on a fringe NCAA Tournament team. Cook is transferring to invest in his future self, plain and simple.
WHAT IS GONZAGA'S TRANSFER PORTAL SITUATION?
As a I mentioned earlier, we all know that Gonzaga is expected to bring in a high-level transfer off ball guard this season and that probably eased Cook’s decision to go elsewhere.
Who that guard is though is yet to be determined. To be honest, following Gonzaga’s transfer portal endeavors this year has been a lot and yet nothing at all. The Zags have been linked to seven or eight players in the portal, but it just either hasn’t gone their way or guys are still mulling their options. There have been a lot of names coming and going over the past few weeks, but we know at some point though, the Zags will bring in a ringer. They’ve had a good track record the past few years. And remember, you may be getting antsy now Gonzaga fans, but this whole transfer portal situation could go on for a bit. It took until June 23rd of 2019 for Ryan Woolridge to commit and July 5th of 2018 for Geno Crandall to commit.
With Aaron Cook most likely leaving the program, that leaves three scholarships available. Right now there isn’t a clear back up point guard on the roster with Cook leaving, so expect Gonzaga to bring in another non-power 5 player to replace Cook to back up Andrew Nembhard.
WHO WINS WITH COOK'S TRANSFER?
As for the current players on Gonzaga’s roster, I think this means good things for Dominick Harris.
I would imagine that Mark Few is looking to invest in the future, and that means giving Harris more minutes next season. When given the option between giving Cook extra minutes or Harris extra minutes next season, it makes sense why Few would choose Harris.
The Zags need to invest in the future with Drew Timme, Andrew Nembhard, and Chet Holmgren assuredly leaving the program for the NBA after next year. Recruit Hunter Sallis also has an outside shot of being a one and done. With Cook only having one year of eligibility remaining, it makes sense that Few would give Harris extra minutes next season as the 2022-2023 Zags lack anyone outside of Anton Watson who have seen significant playing time thus far as a Zag.