Cool is as cool does, and Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley is cool. Perhaps you think this is a mere play on words or a cute attempt to be clever. Not so fast. Let’s take a close look at Cooley’s actions to see if this is so.
Is effort cool? Cooley crashed the boards last season grabbing 8.9 rebounds per game. His quick and smooth outlet passes ignited Irish fast breaks. His low-post combination of quickness and power caused nightmares for opponents. Cooley was a hybrid, in the mold of Irish football tight end Tyler Eifert. He was too quick for some defenders and too powerful for others.
Is team work cool? Cooley excelled at distributing assists . He was one of the top passing big men in college basketball. He set powerful screens, enabling guards Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant to slice to the basket. He led by example, often finding a way to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line.
Is hard-nosed defense cool? Cooley showed no fear while standing his ground to draw charges. He was a catalyst to the success of the Irish zone defense. When a double team was needed, he hustled to the spot. When opponents sought to drive, he filled the lane to stop them.
Is a will to win cool? Cooley was a dependable go-to guy in the final minutes of many of Notre Dame’s victories last season. He called for the ball in big moments and he produced. At times, he seemed to will the Irish to victory.
So, is there any team in the country that would not want to have a player like that? Do these attributes not represent Notre Dame’s philosophy of “playing like a champion today” to its fullest? Is that not cool? No, it’s Cooley.