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Jack Cooley Balls Out In Reno Bighorns Debut

Editor Dakota Schmidt looks over Jack Cooley’s great debut performance for the Reno Bighorns.

NBA: Sacramento Kings-Media Day Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday afternoon, Sacramento Kings fans got their first opportunity to watch their new two-way prospect Jack Cooley in G League action as the Bighorns faced off against the OKC Blue. Although Cooley joins JaKarr Sampson as the two prospects on two-way deals, the 6’7 forward played two regular games with the Sacramento Kings before he was sent down to the G League.

While the Kings organization will be monitoring that duo throughout the G League season, they definitely got an extremely pleasant surprise from Cooley on Sunday afternoon. Against the OKC Blue, he put up a career-high 36 points and 11 rebounds (4 rebounds) on 15-17 from the field and 5-8 from the free throw line in Reno’s victory.

When you take a look back at highlights from this fabulous performance, it essentially looks like the same thing that we’ve seen from Cooley since he was with Notre Dame. Most of those points come from him working as a pick-and-roll man as the 275 pounder just rumbles his way down towards the rim before he can use his soft hands to capture the pass and put it in. During that game against the Blue, Cooley worked wonders as a pick-and-roll partner to Bighorns lead facilitator David Stockton. Honestly, he might actually be one of the finest pick-and-roll bigs in the G League due to his big frame, quick feet and soft hands.

His strong frame and great hands also allow him to that great target for guards that are working in drive-and-kick. Last but not least, his two traits has allowed him to be a tremendous offensive rebounder as he’s averaged an unbelievable 5.1 offensive rebounds during his G League career.

Although its easier to get hyped from a big putting up 30+ points in his debut game, this type of production is basically just an extreme example of what we’ve seen since he was in college. However, these tremendous performances might become more commonplace this season.

That’s due to him working against a terrific facilitating guard in David Stockton, whose averaged 7.7 assists per game with a 2.7 Ast/TO ratio during his four-year G League career. As we saw during that debut game, the duo already has great chemistry which should get even better as the season goes on.