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Jack Cooley Stepping into Leadership Role for Notre Dame

Anthony Gruppuso-US Presswire

Senior Jack Cooley, a normally soft-spoken player, is stepping up for Notre Dame. Last season, when it seemed the Irish were sitting in mediocrity, Cooley stepped up and made his voice heard. Now he is a senior who holds everyone accountable, which is something every team needs.

Cooley had this to say to the Chicago Tribune:

“I definitely have gotten into people’s faces when things haven’t been taken as seriously,” Cooley said. “It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It kind of came natural. A little frightening. Part of being a leader is sometimes you have to be tough on people.”

Back when Notre Dame had Luke Harangody, they had a physical presence in the paint who was also the team leader. Now, Cooley is filling that position.

Last season, he averaged 12.5 points and 8.9 rebounds, a huge jump from his sophomore season. Expect those numbers to rise even more this year.

Behind head coach Mike Brey, the Irish are in good hands. He always manages to get the most out of his players. With Cooley and fellow senior Scott Martin teaming up with juniors Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins, Notre Dame are legit Big East contenders.

It remains to be seen what the extent of the Irish will be as they prepare to leave the conference. However, one thing is for certain: if the big man is using his mouth as much as he’s using his body, the rest of the Big East needs to take notice and watch out.

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