The team's top returning scorer (8.6 ppg) from a 17-16 team of a year ago, Chris Cooks looks to step up his role this season as the team co-captain and soft-spoken leader . . . He will help the bears at multiple positions, giving them flexibility to use him in a variety of roles this season.
Earned six starts and saw action in 30 games in his first season with the Bears . . . Earned Missouri Valley Conference All-Bench Team Honors from the league's beat writers after averaging 8.6 points per game overall and 8.1 points in league play . . . Scored in double figures 12 times, and led Bears in scoring five times. . . Posted a career-high 20 points in overtime loss at Wichita State (1/29/08) on 6-of-14 shooting and 8-of-11 at the line . . . Game at Wichita was Cooks' first-ever collegiate start . . . Was Bears' best rebounder six times, including career-high 9 in home win over Bethune-Cookman (12/19/07) . . . Scored 19 in team's come-from-behind win at Winthrop (11/25/07) on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting night . . . Had a three-pointer in 10 different games, including two in final game at Hammons against Drake (2/26/08) . . . Scored 15 at Indiana State (3/1/08) and 13 in Vegas Classic against Alabama (12/22/07) . . . Started six straight games from 1/8/08 to 1/26/08 and averaged 7.2 points per game during that stretch . . . His 130 rebounds was third-best on 2007-08 squad, while his 62 assists was also third on the squad.
Attended Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla., where he played for long-time Wichita high school coach Steve Eck . . . Cooks collected juco All-America honorable mention selection his sophomore season as he scored 10 points and averaged 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.1 steals a game while shooting 66 percent from the floor . . . Redlands finished with a 31-2 record in Cooks' sophomore season and was ranked No. 1 nationally at one point during the campaign . . . Averaged 13.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals a game while shooting 65 percent from the field and the foul line as a freshman.
Competed for coach Jeff Coleman at Idabel High in Idabel, Okla. . . . He was a four-year starter as a prepster and led the Warriors to a 27-2 record and an Oklahoma class 4A state championship, Idabel's first state title, as a senior in 2004-05 . . . He was the Class 4A Player of the Year in Oklahoma as he led his team with season averages of 18.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 blocked shots a contest his final year . . . Was named the MVP of the state tournament as he averaged 27.3 points for the three games Idabel played in the state meet . . . Cooks was also an all-county receiver for Idabel in football.
Chris Dereon Cooks was born Dec. 14, 1986, in Idabel, Okla. He is the son of Pamela Compton and the grandson of Billie Cooks of Idabel, Okla . . . Has a brother, Rodriekus White, and sister, Kayla . . . Chris is majoring in Hospitality and Restaurant Administration at Missouri State.
Did You Know?
Cooks' top three scoring efforts in 2007-08 were all on the road - 20 points at Wichita State (1/29), 19 at Winthrop (11/25) and 15 at Indiana State (3/1) . . . Favorite TV show is "The Wire" and lists "Boys-N-the-Hood," "21," and "Above the Rim" among his favorite movies . . . New York Yankees fan . . . Nickname is "King Cooks" . . .