Tag Archives: Quinn Cook

BDN’s Monday Musings – Quinn Cook, Ryan Kelly, the Plums, Rasheed Sualimon, Julius Randle

Most people are adjusting back to a normal routine after the holidays, but I found myself quite busy covering two Duke Basketball games and three days worth of high school prospects.  In fact, I’ll finally make it back to the gym today, but only after another edition of Monday Musings.

17 assists, 0 turnovers

During last evening’s post game press conference with Duke Coach Mike Krzyzweski, he quipped, “Quinn Cook has 17 assists and no turnovers in his last two games.”  I tweeted that and within a few minutes noticed there were a bevy of retweets.  For those counting, Cook has played 62 minutes without a turnover.  The freshman point guard wasn’t quite the same after his injury  last season, but after surgery and rest, he’s just now getting back to form.  I’m seeing flashes of what he did before the injury when I covered him on the AAU circuit and that means you will see it as well as the season progresses.  But the true test for Cook will be how does he handle hostile environments like he will in the next two road games with Temple and the ACC opener with Georgia Tech.  Cook is the only true PG on the Blue Devils roster and if he can continue to adjust to the college game and improve his defense, he’ll get plenty of burn.  One must remember a PG eight miles down the road named Kendall Marshall burst onto the scene last year, but in his case, he had to.  Duke has a steady, calm leader in Tyler Thornton, a swing guard, who was making three point shots look like a three inch putt in his last two outings, but that is an area he needs to be consistent in to keep opposing defenses honest.  My thinking is that there will remain a combination of the two in some manner all season long

Austin Rivers is the ACC Rookie of the Year

Rivers had trouble finishing off his moves in his last outing, but the freshman is destined to break out before seasons end.  With Duke seeking chemistry going into ACC play, he’s finding his spot and once again adjusting.  The keyword though is adjusting for he has had a huge transformation with his game since he was in high school.  His willingness to do so has proven that he is all about team first.  Rivers, provided he stays healthy is a lock for ACC Rookie of the Year and he leads the 12-1 Blue Devils in scoring as a freshman for a reason, that being he’s pretty darn good.

The Plums

There was one possession Mason past up an easy shot to dish to his brother Miles who was maybe a foot closer to the rim.  The play didn’t set well with the bench but it showed that Mason is looking to get Miles going in his senior year and how close these guys and family really are.  Next time, take the shot but don’t worry with that play too much for Mason has been a rebounding machine and a very consistent option for Duke.  He’s definitely struggling from the free throw line for sure, but he also leads the team in FG%.  And FWIW, his four blocks last evening tied his career high at Duke.  Meanwhile, Miles had solid back to back games and it seems as if the senior is finding more consistency in his last season as a Blue Devil.  And, for one, think that he will continue to improve.

Ryan Kelly getting aggressive

If you watch the videos we provided from last evenings game, you’ll hear junior forward, Ryan Kelly, state that he sought to play more aggressively.  Kelly recorded hi first double-double at Duke with 18 points and 12 rebounds and his 26 minutes played in the 85-55 blowout of Penn was tops on the team.  Kelly had struggled a little bit of late but it always seems like you can count on him to come back.  Duke will need Kelly to be a presence in upcoming road tests and the ACC season.

Covering Rasheed Sulaimon

I am as impressed as ever with Rasheed Sulaimon.  The future Blue Devil will join Alex Murphy and Marshall Plumlee who are both red shirting provided there are no injuries in next seasons class.  Sulaimon was flat out sick as a dog during the Holiday Invitational but he reached deep and helped his team, Strake Jesuit, win their last two games to go back to Texas 2-1.  Sulaimon visited Duke with his father and brother for the win over Western Michigan and he continues to recruit for the Blue Devils hoping to add players to his class.

Julius Randle visits

While the students were gone, Randle still got the “Julius Randle come to Duke,” chant which he smiled about.  Randle is a flat out stud in the post and a player the Blue Devils staff covets.  Randle visited UNC yesterday and then caught the entire Duke game.  It’ll be a good while before Randle, a junior in high school this season, decides, but there is already panic at every turn.  If you do not believe me take a look at the message boards.

BDN Premium

We are still offering the special rate of 80.00 bucks for one year of Blue Devil Nation Premium, which is 20% off the regular rate.  No other site covers s many AAU and high school events than do we and it’s time for you to see what you’re missing.  We’ve put together and amazing staff and correspondents that you have to see their reporting to get a feel for how timely and accurate it is.  We have two exclusive interviews up with Rasheed Sulaimon, a bevy of interviews with stud prospects from the City of Palms already waiting and wait until you see our original, yet copied Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Updates. We also spoke with Brick Oettinger of Prep Stars, a long time analyst about prospects and up next are ESPN’s Jason Jordan and Dave Telep telling our members their thoughts on the Tony Parker situation and more.  By being an independent, we can speak with many analysts and are not limited to the ones in our network and we think that is unique on to itself.  And changes are coming as well which are sure to please in 2012, so take advantage of this offer and stay connected and join in the on the discussions and see for yourself the quality we bring to the table.  A quick not on the offer, when joining select the yearly rate of 100.00 through paypal and we’ll send you 20 bucks back.  That’s pennies a day for non stop behind the scenes Duke reporting.

 

 

Duke will rebound against Colorado State

The Duke Basketball team takes to the court for the first time tonight after their loss to Ohio State in Columbus where they’ll face Colorado State in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  The Rams come in 5-3, having recently lost to Northern Iowa, a likely NCAA Tournament team by a score of 83-77.  The Blue Devils (7-1) are coming off some nice road wins before dropping a 20 plus point drubbing to #2 ranked Ohio State.

Wes Eikmeir leads the Rams averaging 17.5 ppg from the guard spot.  The junior is a player that the Blue Devils will certainly focus on and that will shift the load to fellow junior guard Dorian Green, who knocked down 21 points in a road loss to a tough Northern Iowa team.  Statistically, the teams are fairly even but Duke will look to improve on their rebounding totals which took a hit against the Buckeyes.

In the last outing, only Austin Rivers and Mason Plumlee played consistently and you can bet that players have been challenged to step up.  Look for some changes in the line up but nothing too earth shattering for some of the Blue Devils regulars which rode the bench in the last outing late in the game, are still the best bets for success.

It is thought by many that Quinn Cook will get a shot at the point guard spot, shifting Seth Curry off ball with Austin Rivers.  But Tyler Thornton will be in the mix as well.  For Cook to succeed, he will need to show better court awareness and make good quick decisions.  The problem in some respects have been turnovers from the distributors and getting the ball to shooters in good position, so all eyes will be glued to progress in this area.

I still feel Austin Rivers is on the verge of big things and of all the players on the team, he has the most potential to raise his assists by hitting the open men on the wings off drives.  And Mason Plumlee is playing like an All ACC player and showing off his game as he is coming into his own as a junior.

The Blue Devils will now try to extend their 89-game home non-conference winning streak and should come away with their 90th consecutive.  One thing is certain, that being you will see the Blue Devils play with a wreckless abandon wanting to get the past of their first loss out of their mouth.  While I certainly don’te expect the Rams to lay down, I do expect them to get worn down as the game goes on.  Again, this team is better than some fans might think who are demanding a blowout for redemption, still when the dust clears, I too see a good effort and an 85-64 win.

Monday Musings looks at the Duke Men’s Basketball Team

In this weeks addition of Monday Musings, we take a look at each player on the men’s basketball team and share our thoughts on their performances during Countdown to Craziness.  We are more than aware it is hard to tell much from a partial Blue-White game but having watched the Blue Devils as much as we do, there are some trends developingWe are working on BDN highlight videos, so look for those today and a photo gallery as well.  As for the Cheerleader of the week, it will return in the next edition of Monday Musings.

Miles Plumlee – Miles looked like the senior leader we are all hoping for scoring 15 points and grabbing 8 rebounds in the game.  Miles is a great run jump athlete and he seems to have found the groove of bringing that athleticism in a consistent manner.  He is a clear starter for this seasons team and the guy Duke can turn to for toughness.

Mason Plumlee – Mason dropped in 9 points and grabbed  5 rebounds in an underwhelming performance but he played well down the stretch for the Blue team.  I have such high hopes for Mason that I hold him to a different level of expectations.  His numbers still translated to around 15 points and 9 rebounds if he had played a full game.  Mason is in the rotation of the top six Duke players and a likely starter.

Seth Curry - I told everybody that would listen over the summer that Seth Curry would take a tremendous leap in his junior season and he made me look like a prophet scoring a game high 28 points with his smooth style of play and he led the team in assists with 4.  We called  your attention early on that we felt he would get a look at the PG spot and folks, he is the starter there which Coach K said in a clear manner with his post game comments.  I will vote for Curry to be first team All ACC on Wednesday at ACC Operation Basketball, something I told other sports writer friends who paused at the notion when first mentioned.  I will bet he has their vote now.

Austin Rivers – Rivers had his Cameron debut after walking out to Frank Sinatra’s “My way,” scoring 14 points and pulling down 5 rebounds from the wing guard spot.  I was the first to get to him in the locker room and the entire herd soon followed my lead.  Such is the nature of things when you are one of the most hyped players in the country.  Rivers six turnovers to a single assist was a bit disturbing but fans will need to wait it out a bit to see his best.  I see Rivers going down a road similar to Harrison Barnes last season where he gets better and suddenly the light goes off.  Coach K warned of lofty expectations with concern to Rivers, saying comparing him to Kyrie Irving would be a mistake in that the PG spot is easier to step into.  As usual, I agree with Coach.

Ryan Kelly – There was much talk abut the off season improvement of the bearded one known as  Ryan Kelly,  His numbers of 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks are numbers  I feel he will put up on a consistent basis,  Kelly simply plays withing the teams framework and I think he will be one of the top for scorers for Duke this season.

Andre Dawkins – Dawkins did not shoot the ball well and ended the game with 7 points and 1 board.  Still, I know Coach K wants him to keep shooting.  Dawkins is currently in the top six players rotation and there is no reason to think this will change.

Josh Hairston – Hairston put up 6 points and pulled down 5 rebounds showing that he can produce at the forward spot.  It’ll be interesting to watch his development this season and see if he can crack the rotation.

Quinn Cook – Cook dropped in 7 points, grabbed  2 rebounds and dished 2 assists in 17 minutes of play.  I heard some say, he’s better than they thought he would be.  Look folks, Cook has a lot of potential and he simply needs to make a grab at the leadership reigns by getting his teammates involved.  I liked Quinn Cook the first time I saw him and he does have the ability to develop into a leader with more confidence on the court.  There is no shortage of confidence off the court as he admits in our recent video interview with him.

Alex Murphy - During the Blue teams rally to win, Murphy played a key role down the stretch.  He took a baseline drive with authority with the game on the line, was fouled and sank both free throws.  That was his only 2 points to go with a rebound, 2 key steals at crunch time and a team high and pleasantly surprising 3 blocks.   Murphy is getting adjusted to the speed of the game and the physicality but he is a smart basketball player that coach K praised.

Tyler Thornton -  “We’ve got another good guard,” stated Mike Krzzyzewski when questioned about the play of Quinn Cook and he is talking about Tyler Thornton a steady performer with good on ball defensive skills.  Thornton has played and can play with the ACC’s best point guards for he did so all through high school.  Nice depth at the guard spot for Duke this season.  Thornton had 3 rebounds from the guard spoit to go with a bucket and an assist.

Michael Gbinije – Silent G scored 3 points grabbed  1 rebound and had 1 assist as the first man off then bench.  He will need to be more aggressive to earn minutes but he does a lot fo things that doesn’t  show up in the box scores and has potential to leap into the top ten quickly.

Marshall Plumlee - Having followed Marshall for several years on the AAU circuit, I can say that he gets bigger and better each time I see him.  The third Plumlee plays with a revved up motor and enthusiasm and that over time will translate into him being a factor.

Cameron Crazies - Leading up to the game, I will give them an A-, during the game a grade of C is at hand for they were very average.  Okay, it’s early and some tradition needs to be learned.  The Crazies went silent when the game started with disjointed cheers.  Part of that is understandable, but that performance  was in no way acceptable behavior if a game was at hand.  I feel certain they’ll improve their game just like the team will in that we are all connected here in some way,.

The event itself – It’s always a feel good time and that will nevr change.  There is a genuine love affair between Duke and their fans, both being faithful to each other.  May the Countdown to Craziness event live forever.