The firestorm is over for Jack Cooley. The 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward from Glenbrook South (Ill.) High School is taking his rough and tough game to a conference that is perfect for his style of play.
Cooley verbally committed to Notre Dame on Tuesday morning, according to his Rising Stars AAU coach Mike Weinstein.
Cooley has transformed his game over the last year, going from a four points per game scorer in high school to a 22-point per game performer that received a flurry of high-major offers in the last month.
Now he is a Big East bound basketball player.
"We turned over every stone that we are looking at and it was basically Jack's job to tell us why he wants to go somewhere," Weinstein said. "He's excited about going to Notre Dame. One, the academics. It is Notre Dame. He likes the academics there and the tradition of Notre Dame. It has smaller classes and good instructors.
"Two, he really likes the basketball program there. He really enjoys coach (Mike) Brey and coach (Gene) Cross and the way they play. He liked the way the players interacted with them before the game and during the game…He felt really comfortable there and they were his kind of people. Those guys are all about team and they work hard."
For Notre Dame fans, Cooley's addition will help ease the future graduation of bruiser Luke Harangody. Like the current Irish star, Cooley is a banger that isn't afraid to stick his nose into a physical contest.
"He will have a chance to play with Harangody when he's a senior. Jack will be a freshman. He said he is looking forward to working with him and learning under him and getting better," Cooley said.
"Jack is a lunch pail guy. He keeps his mouth shut and listens and is eager to learn. He works his butt off. Through hard work, he's gotten better and better. Now he has an edge to him like he knows he is good. He wants dominate. I think that has been the difference with him since September. We see a kid now that knows he is good instead thinking he is good."
Notre Dame won out over Illinois and Wisconsin.