South Carolina is set to play it's final home game of the year tonight at the Colonial Life Arena and there is one senior this year that will be recognized.
His name is Malik Cooke and he's been an integral part of South Carolina basketball the past two season.
Cooke came into the program as a bit of an unknown as a transfer from Nevada but he's been able to establish a veteran presence on this team and be the one consistent part of a South Carolina basketball that has been all but consistent.
Cooke can do a little bit of everything for the Gamecocks but he's not really known as a star player. He's not the best shooter. He's not the best defender. He doesn't have the best leaping ability.
None of that matters, though, as Cooke comes to play every night when he puts on that South Carolina uniform. This year he's leading the team in several categories as he has scored a team-high 346 points this year for a 12.4 points per game average. He also has a team-high 49 steals this year. He has scored a total of 629 points in his almost two years in a South Carolina uniform.
These aren't great numbers but they get the job done and that's what we've come to expect out of Malik Cooke.
This is a guy that does the little things. He's been that stable leader in the locker room this year. I'm sure there are plenty of times that this team could have collapsed but Cooke has continued to fight and claw his way until the clock strikes zero. South Carolina fans should have an appreciation for the effort that Malik Cooke displays. You can't ask for a better team player than Malik Cooke.
So if you make it out to the Colonial Life Arena Wednesday night, be sure to cheer extra loud for Malik Cook before the game. He deserves to be recognized for all the hard work he has put into this program for the past three years.
It's been a pleasure watching him play basketball the last two seasons and I know we all wish him great success in the future.