Jalen Cook at LSU in 2020. Dec 26, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers guard Jalen Cook (3) dribbles against Nicholls State Colonels in the second half at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, sometimes you can go home again. That’s at least the case for point guard Jalen Cook. Cook, from Walker, Louisiana, began his college career 21 miles west in Baton Rouge at LSU in the 2020-21 season, but struggled to gain playing time behind Javonte Smart and Cam Thomas. And he transferred after that season.

But Cook stayed in-state with that transfer, heading 80 miles southeast to New Orleans to join the Tulane Green Wave. After spending the last two seasons lighting up the American Athletic Conference, though, Cook entered the transfer portal. And he received massive interest from many top schools after doing so. But On3’s Matthew Brune reported Friday that Cook will return to LSU:

As Brune notes there, LSU is in different head coaching hands now than during Cook’s first stint there (where he appeared in 20 games, but didn’t start once, and only averaged 3.1 points per game in 7.5 minutes per game). Now, the Tigers are coached by Matt McMahon. Back in 2020-21, LSU was coached by Will Wade, who the Tigers fired for cause (around a NCAA notice of infractions following a FBI investigation that saw Wade caught on a wiretap with middleman Christian Dawkins, discussing a “strong-ass offer” and a “piece of the pie” for Smart in recruiting) last March.

Wade is now coaching at McNeese State following that firing for cause. Meanwhile, McMahon (previously at Murray State) took over the Tigers’ men’s program 10 days after Wade’s firing last March. And he now has an impressive addition, as On3 had ranked him the No. 13 player available in the portal. And a lot of top programs were looking at Cook following his late-March decision to transfer:

Cook averaged 19.9 points (on 45.2 percent shooting from the field and 34.5 percent shooting from deep) and 4.9 assists in 34.5 minutes per game for Tulane this past season. We’ll see what he can do in his return to the Tigers.

[On3; top photo of Cook playing for LSU in a December 26, 2020 game against Nicholls State from Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.