Last year, Quinn Cook, a 2011 prospect, lost his father, Ted, to a cardiac arrest. This year, the point guard led the legendary DeMatha high school program to a City Title in Washington (D.C.), including a one-point victory over Tyler Thornton and Gonzaga. During the AAU season, he is the engine for the D.C. Assault 16-and-Under team. In each of the last two weeks, Cook has almost single-handedly led his Assault team to the finals of the Pitt Jam Fest and the semi-finals of the King James Shooting Stars Classic, scoring 17 and 28 points, respectively. During the Pitt Jam Fest, Blue Devil Nation spoke with Quinn about winning the City Title, dealing with the death of his beloved father, and future Duke guard, Tyler Thornton.
Blue Devil Nation: How’s your recruiting going? Do you have any timeline for when you’d like to decide by? [private]
Quinn Cook: My timeline… I don’t really have one right now. If I feel that the time is right, I’ll just sit down with my mom, my AAU coach, and my high school coach about the decision.
BDN: So nothing really planned?
BDN: What schools are after you right now? [private]
QC: North Carolina, Georgetown, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, and a couple of other ACC and Big East schools.
BDN: A lot of East Coast schools
QC: Right, right
BDN: Which of those schools have formally offered you?
QC: I’m not really sure right now. My coach…my high school coach, actually, has been handling that.
Blue Devil Nation: Whenever you do decide, what will be some of the most important factors in choosing your college?
Quinn Cook: Exposure, tradition, academics, of course, and just, like, a family atmosphere.
BDN: Have you made any visits yet?
QC: I’ve visited Georgetown this fall and I planned on going to North Carolina, but I had an obligation I had at school. After all of this settles down, I’m going to go down there.
BDN: Where do you plan on going to camp?
QC: I’m really not sure at this point.
BDN: Who are some players that you try to emulate?
QC: I have my own style, but I really watch Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant.
Blue Devil Nation: As a point guard, what style of play do you like to run?
Quinn Cook: Fast. I like to run up-and-down and keep going.
BDN: What do you feel you need to improve upon most?
QC: My strength and my foot speed. I want to work on a lot of things, but those are my main two that I have to work hard on.
BDN: What do you do best?
QC: I think my passing. I’m a pass-first point guard.
Blue Devil Nation: Now you play in a great high school league, but what are some of the differences that you’ve found between playing in the WCAC and playing AAU basketball?
Quinn Cook: The differences that I’ve seen are that the competition in high school is much more physical. Guys really get after it, but, in AAU, guys want to try to showcase their talent. I would say the high school competition is more aggressive, but the AAU is more better because it’s all-Americans out there.
Blue Devil Nation: Can you talk about winning the City Title and particularly winning on a last second shot?
Quinn Cook: It’s great because it’ll go down in history. I mean you can be fifty years old and be back at high school and just …
BDN: You’ll always remember those guys and be able to share that time.
QC: Yeah, absolutely right.
BDN: What’s your current height and weight?
QC: I’m 6’1” and 175.
BDN: What’s your role going to be like next year?
QC: More of a leader and more of a distributor
Blue Devil Nation: What’s your relationship like with Curtis Malone? A godfather?
Quinn Cook: Yeah, he’s like a godfather to me.
BDN: Who’s been the toughest player you’ve ever faced, either in high school or in AAU competition?
QC: Oh, wow, I’ve got to say, um, that’s tough. I’d say probably Samardo Samuels.
Blue Devil Nation: Can you talk about some of the great point guards you’ve played with and against in the D.C. area? Guys like Markel Starks, Tyler Thornton, Josh Selby, Kendall Marshall.
Quinn Cook: That’s why I think the Washington metropolitan area is so strong because you’ve got point guards all over the place.
BDN: Your fellow D.C. Assault point guard Tyler Thornton was saying that the WCAC is like a mini-ACC.
QC: Yeah, everyday you’re going against elite competition
BDN: How would you assess your handle, your defense, and your overall shooting?
QC: My handle is okay and my D is something I need to work on. My three-point shooting is going well. My mid-range is good. It’s good.
Blue Devil Nation: Since you didn’t mention them before, I’m not sure if I should ask you these next two questions, but what’s your impression of Duke from afar?
Quinn Cook: Oh, I love it. I mean my godbrother. I mean I’m very close with Nolan Smith.
BDN: Have you visited it?
QC: I mean I went a little bit, but…I love Nolan and I love Duke. They’re like one of my favorite schools. I’ll probably visit them when I go down there.
BDN: So you’d be open to them if them if they start recruiting you heavily?
QC: Oh, yes, of course…of course
BDN: What about Coach Krzyzewski?
QC: He’s a legend. I really want to have a pleasant meeting with him. I really respect him and what he’s done.
Blue Devil Nation: For people that don’t know, you lost your father last year to a cardiac arrest and you wear an image of him on a shirt beneath your uniform. There is never a good time, but I lost my father recently too. It must’ve been devastating, particularly to lose him so unexpectedly.
Quinn Cook: It was very tough, but, you know, I just had to be there for my mother and my sister. I had to be there and, you know, Nolan talked to me. I had a lot of uncles and older friends help and step in.
Blue Devil Nation: Can you give the audience a scouting report on Tyler Thornton and tell everybody what he’s like as a person?
Quinn Cook: Like, off the court, he’s genuine and really, like, laid-back, but, you know, on the court, he’s just the opposite. He likes to get everybody going. He’s a very, very good player.
Blue Devil Nation: What would you like the audience to know about you away from the court?
Quinn Cook: I like to text and to shop. I like to sit and watch movies with my mom.
BDN: Oh, yeah, what kind of movies do you like?
QC: Sports, action, comedies…pretty much everything except horror
BDN: I never liked horror either. Growing up, I always felt there’s too many actual scary things in the world to have to worry about.
QC: Yeah, yeah, true
Blue Devil Nation: Well, thank you very much, Quinn, and stay strong.
Quinn Cook: No problem. Thank you. [/private]