Men's Basketball Signs Three Prep Standouts To National Letters Of Intent

Nov. 17, 1999

Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara men's basketball has signed three high school players to National Letters of Intent in the early signing period, head coach Bob Williams announced today. The Gauchos signed 6-foot-1 combo-guard Jacoby Atako out of Santa Monica High School, 6-foot-5 forward/guard Branduinn Fullove from Simi Valley High School and 6-foot-8 forward Casey Cook out of El Camino High School in Sacramento.

Here is a player-by-player breakdown of the signees:

Jacoby Atako
Atako, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound combo guard out of Santa Monica High School, averaged 17.0 points and 5.3 assists per game as a junior. He was rated among the top-40 players in the west by the Orange County Register in its survey of 75 college coaches and scouts from across the nation. The Register picked him as a third-team selection in its Fab 15 listings. In addition, Atako was selected as an Honorable Mention All-American by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He was named to the all-tournament teams of three different high school events last year, including Santa Barbara High School's Holiday Classic. Jacoby is an absolute jet," Williams said. "He is quick on quick and he'll give us a tremendous combo guard with outstanding defensive abilities. He is very good with the ball and a very good long-range shooter. The one rap against him is that he is too unselfish, but we see that as a good thing."

Branduinn Fullove
Fullove, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound wing player from Simi Valley High School, averaged 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game last year in leading Simi Valley to a 28-3 record and a semifinal berth in the CIF Southern Section 1-A playoffs. He was an All-CIF choice and The Orange County Register rated him the 24th best player in the west. The Register chose Fullove as a second-team selection in its Fab 15 listings. In addition, Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook selected him as an Honorable Mention All-American. "Branduinn is a very strong, tough and extremely fundamentally sound player," Williams said. "He has the ability to hurt you inside and outside and the ability to defend anybody on the other team."

Casey Cook
Cook, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from Sacramento's El Camino High School, averaged 18.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game as a junior. He was an All-CIF selection and The Orange County Register rated Cook among the top-40 players in the west, listing him on its third-team of Fab 15 listings. He too was listed as an Honorable Mention All-American by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. "Casey has a high skill level and a very good understanding of the game," Williams assessed. "He is another long-range shooter, a deep-shooting big man in the mold of (ex-Gaucho) Josh Merrill and (current Gaucho) Juliano Jordani. We see him as a four man. Casey is good with his back to the basket and very good facing the basket. He can really shoot the ball from deep, he is a good athlete and he runs and jumps well. He is perfect for our system."

Overall, Williams is extremely pleased with the signing of the three high school seniors. "Branduinn Fullove and Jacoby Atako, along with last year's signings of B.J. Ward, Nick Jones and J.J. Todd, give us high visibility in the (CIF) Southern Section," he said. "I believe this will continue to open doors for us in Southern California. I am very excited with what our staff has achieved in recruiting in the last two years. We feel we have done an outstanding job. These three players (Atako, Fullove and Cook) will be major parts of our program, and we look forward to having them here."

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