Quinn Cook scored 24 points to go with a game high 9 assists on Tuesday evening as Duke defeated Michigan 79-69 in Cameron Indoor Stadium in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Blue Devil Nation caught up to a humble Cook for his post game comments -
DURHAM, N.C. – Duke junior Quinn Cook has been named to the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame committee Tuesday. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in men’s college basketball.
Cook earned third team All-ACC (ACSMA) honors last season while averaging 11.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. The Washington, D.C., native finished second in the ACC in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4:1), fifth in steals (1.4 spg.) and ninth in minutes (33.6 mpg.), while starting 34 of Duke’s 36 contests. Cook scored in double-figures 21 times a year ago with three games with 20-or-more points and also added three double-digit assist contests. He also developed into a reliable perimeter weapon, knocking down 55 three-point field goals while shooting 39.3 percent from behind the arc.
“The Hall of Fame is proud to work with Mr. Cousy and honor the best point guards playing in college basketball right now,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “This list represents some of the top student athletes from across the country. We are truly honored to be a part of this award.”
“The Bob Cousy Award promotes the values of leadership, determination, and teamwork, all skills needed not only on the hardwood but also in life,” said Ken Kaufman, Chair of the Bob Cousy Award and former president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). “Mr. Cousy exemplified all of these traits, and continues to be an inspiration to basketball players on and off the court.”
This watch list of candidates will be narrowed down to a final 20 in early February, then final five by early March. A premier selection committee has been appointed by the Hall of Fame to review the candidates in contention for the nation’s top collegiate point guard award. This committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including members of the media, head coaches, media relations contacts and Hall of Famers. The Cousy Award winner will be presented the award on Championship Monday in Dallas at the Hall of Fame's Class of 2014 Announcement and Press Conference.
Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award have included Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph’s), Raymond Felton (North Carolina), Dee Brown (Illinois), Acie Law (Texas A&M), DJ Augustin (Texas), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), Kemba Walker (Connecticut), Kendall Marshall (North Carolina) and last year’s recipient Trey Burke (Michigan).
Blue Devil Nation caught up to Rasheed Sulaimon and Quinn Cook in the Duke locker room after the Duke Blue Devils defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 73-68 to push their season record to 22-2.
It took a half for Duke to adapt to the physicality of the game, but adjust they did, and that resulted in a 73-68 victory over Ohio State in a rollicking Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Duke guards came alive in the second half and that, combined with another herculean effort from Mason Plumlee, led Duke to its seventh win on the young season, helping the #2 rated team remain undefeated.
Mason Plumlee now All-Time Dunk Leader at Duke
With four dunks, Mason Plumlee has more flushes than anybody in the history of Duke Basketball, surpassing Robert Brickey for that honor. His play prompted Jeff Goodman to tweet that Mason is now the front-runner for National Player of the Year. Plumlee scored a game-high 21 points to go with 17 rebounds in yet another outstanding performance, one which may finally earn him overdue ACC Player of the Week honors. Plumlee has started in 58 of his last 61 games at Duke and has an ACC-leading four double-doubles this season. He became the 17th player in Duke history to reach 700 rebounds tonight as well. When asked about the Blue Devils' early season success, Plumlee stated, "We love it. The schedule at Duke is part of the reason you come here and I think this team has embraced the schedule and the challenges we've had."
Rasheed Sulaimon erupts in the 2nd half
Duke freshman Rasheed Sulaimon earned high praise from Coach Krzyzeswki in the post-game press conference. On a night when Seth Curry struggled with his shot, Sulaimon's 17 second half points were vital in the Duke win. Sulaimon is quite cool under pressure and never seems to let anything get to him, including a first half where he did not score. He's hit at least one three-pointer in each of the Blue Devils' seven wins. "Coach told me to step it up (at the half). My teammates just trust in me. I wanted to step up for my teammates, and when he called my number I was just very aggressive and delivered," said Sulaimon.
Quinn Cook has another solid effort
At the half Quinn Cook had 2 points and 2 assists. He ended the game with 12 points, including 6 of 7 free throws down the stretch with the game on the line, as well as totalling 8 assists. But his biggest stat was his six defensive rebounds. Cook also hit players like Mason Plumlee for huge momentum-changing buckets, including the ESPN Play of the Day, a thuderous one-handed dunk on the break. "Quinn played a great game. He was up against one of the best point guards in America (Craft). An amazing stat for Quinn was his six defensive rebounds," said Krzyzewski when asked about Cook. Quinn has turned a corner with his play of late, and he's stepped up to the plate for good this go round. The Blue Devils have turned over the keys to Cook this season, and he seems to be relishing the role of being the starting point guard at Duke.
Ryan Kelly knocked down 3 of 5 three-pointers and those came at big moments in the game for Duke, and he finished with 15 points. Krzyzewski praised Kelly in the post-game as well, saying it was his best game of the season. Kelly's back-to-back three-point shots in a 40 second span brought the Crazies to their feet and helped swing the momentum in the Blue Devils' favor after they had trailed for almost the entire game.
Mental toughness and resolve helped Duke win this game. The Blue Devils weathered a first half performance where they struggled to get shots off and in the second half locked down much more on the defensive end. Mason Plumlee was the best player on the court and he imposed his will at times, and that was needed on a night when Curry was a bit off or possibly hurting from his shin issues. Duke is Final Four material on November 29th and they can get even better. They have games coming up where they can develop their bench, which scored just four points against Ohio State, and will soon get Marshall Plumlee back from his foot injury as well. Duke has gone up against the nation's best and has passed all tests with flying colors, having defeated three of the four teams from last year's Final Four already. Add to that wins over Minnesota and Virginia Commonwealth and this team is more than a little battle-tested. And the most recent four wins have come in just seven days. More importantly, the team chemistry is as good as it's ever been, and for that to happen this early in the season is a testament to the staff's off-season adjustments.
- Duke has now won 97 consecutive non-conference home games.
- The Blue Devils have now defeated three top five teams this season.
- Duke improved to 12-2 all-time in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
- The Blue Devils have started 7-0 for the third straight season, and have won 56 of their last 57 games played in November.
- Duke improved to 111-16 when ranked in the #2 position in the national polls.
- Against Ohio State, Duke trailed at the half for the first time this season. Four Blue Devils score in double figures and the game marked the fifth straight in which Duke has used the same starting lineup.
Blue Devil Nation Video and Ball is Life brings you this highlight reel on Quinn Cook.
Let us know what you think!
It's been a busy off-season for Duke point guard Quinn Cook. Be it the sweltering nights at the North Carolina Pro-Am or some real road games in Eastern Europe, Cook has been playing a lot of basketball. To Blue Devils fans' delight, he is clearly improving his game, and that is what many had hoped for this summer. Only time will tell if those improvements translate into a starting position in the fall, but there certainly is reason to think he has a good shot at earning that spot. We'll talk more about Cook a bit down the road, but until then here is a video interview we did with him just before the championship game of the N.C. Pro-Am: