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Quinn Cook Ready to Emerge From the Shadows

Photo Credit to sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly.  These are the players we are used to hearing about when Duke takes the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium.  They were the leaders of a team that at some points held the #1 ranking during the 2012-2013 season.  The cold reality for Duke and their fans is these players are gone.  While they have an impressive freshmen class with 6’8 SF Jabari Parker, and 6’8 transfer Rodney Hood, the Blue Devils are going to need junior PG Quinn Cook to be the leader. 

Cook’s freshman year was very underwhelming, averaging only 4.4 PPG and 2 APG. He saw an exponential rise to his minutes during his sophomore season, going from 11 minutes per game to 33.6.  With more playing time his numbers were surely going to increase and they did.  He averaged 11.7 PPG and 5.3 APG.  Cook’s 5.3 APG were second in the ACC only to Lorenzo Brown of North Carolina State.

Cook was one of the most underappreciated players in college basketball last season.  He has exceptional ball-handling skills and can run the floor just as well as any point guard.  Cook shot 39 percent from behind the arc in 2012-13 and had an impressive 87 percent free-throw percentage.  These numbers show Cook can absolutely shoot the ball.  Lets put his statistics into perspective, Cook’s 3PM-3PA was 1.5-3.9.  Seth Curry’s ratio was 2.7-6.2.  Essentially Curry made one more three pointer on almost 2.5 more shots. 

With a very young Blue Devil team, Cook most likely will be the only starting upperclassmen.  Early in the season he will have to be aggressive while players like Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood transition into their roles.  Right off the bat Mike Krzyzewski will feel comfortable with Cook, allowing him to take more shots and run the offense through him rather than the young freshmen.  As the season progresses we will most likely see Cook’s scoring go down as Parker and Hood start taking over games.  Thus Cook will not get the shots and opportunities he did in the beginning of the year, but one positive out of this is his assist numbers should go up.  As said before, Cook is an exceptional passer and that part of his game will undoubtedly flourish with some of the best young players in the country.  Going forward NBA scouts have compared him to Eric Maynor of the Washington Wizards.  They believe he has a chance to be a solid reserve in the NBA.  Cook though has his sights on the 2013-14 Duke season.  They are an early favorite to win the ACC and make a deep NCAA Tournament run.