Tag Archives: Quinn Cook

High School Hoops 2011 Edition No. 3

The holiday season is upon us and arriving with it are numerous high school basketball tournaments including the Iolani Classic in Hawaii, the City of Palms Classic in Florida, and the Chick fil A Classic in South Carolina. In this edition of High School Hoops, Blue Devil Nation keeps you updated on all the tournament action by providing links galore to game recaps, box scores and video clips. [private]

At the Iolani Classic, in Honolulu, Quinn Cook was named the tournament Most Valuable Player as Oak Hill won the tournament with a 4-0 record. He scored 22 points and dished out five assists as Oak Hill defeated Montverde 58-44 in the championship game. Here is a link to another championship game recap.

Cook led Oak Hill over Moanalua 108-33 with a 17 points 16 assists double-double performance in opening round action. Here is a video clip of the game action.

In the quarterfinals, Cook scored 31 points and dished out seven assists as Oak Hill defeated host Iolani Raiders 81-53. Oak Hill defeated Dr. Phillips, 81-51, in the semifinals.

The City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, Florida provided plenty of action for Duke commits and recruiting targets. Austin Rivers, Marshall Plumlee, Shabazz Muhammad, Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski were all in action at this tournament. Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Associate head Coach Chris Collins were present in Florida checking out the prospects.

Austin Rivers headed into this prestigious tournament looking to earn a championship as Winter Park’s previous best finish was 3rd Place. However, it wasn’t to be as Winter Park finished in 4th Place after losing to Milton, 63-62, in the semifinals, and to Mater Dei, 84-66, in the 3rd Place game.

Rivers was named to the All Tournament team after scoring 28, 42, 25 and 28 points in four games for an average of 30.75 points per game. Winter Park defeated Riverside Academy, 75-63, in the opening round and Dwyer, 76-64, in the quarterfinals.

Christ School won two games and lost two games in the tournament. Marshall Plumlee recorded 11 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks double-double in a 77-62 victory over Christ The King. In a 59-54 loss to Mater Dei, Plumlee scored nine points, while he scored five points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked six shots in a 73-61 win over Whitney Young. In their fourth tournament game, an 86-77 loss to Dwyer, Plumlee scored 12 points.

Plumlee also won the tournament dunk contest. Here is a video clip of his performance.

In games last week, Plumlee recorded two double-doubles with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and 11 points and 14 rebounds. Christ School won both games.

Shabazz Muhammad and Bishop Gorman HS played three games at the City of Palms winning once and losing twice. Muhammad scored 19 points as Bishop Gorman defeated North Port 62-48 in their opening game. Bishop Gorman lost to Dwyer, 72-63, and to Riverside Academy, 59-51. Muhammad scored 31 and 29 points, respectively, in those two losses.

St. Mark’s played two games in the Signature Series division of the City of Palms tournament. They dropped their first game, 65-41, to Academy of New Church. Kaleb Tarczewski scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Alex Murphy was held to four points. Murphy was whistled for four personal fouls so his playing time was limited to 22 minutes. In the second game, St. Mark’s defeated Westchester Country Day, 81-36. Murphy scored 18 points and Tarczewski added 13. St. Mark’s outscored Westchester 51-10 in the second half.

At the Chick fil A Classic in Blythewood, South Carolina, Benedictine struggled to a 4th Place finish in the Classic I Bracket. Benedictine went 1-2 at the tournament with Mike Gbinije scoring 18, 22 and 21 points in the three games.

In the opening round (quarterfinals), Benedictine defeated Charlotte Christian 53-41. In the semifinals, United Faith defeated Benedictine 71-61, and in the 3rd Place game, Benedictine lost to Norcross 54-43.

Moving on from the tournament action to some general links, here is a report from last week on St. Mark's teammates, and Duke recruiting targets, Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski. Scroll down to the middle of the article to find the germane verbiage.

Here is a nice article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Coach Krzyzewski's visit to observe Tony Parker, while the Las Vegas Sun has a similar article on Coach Roy Williams' watching Shabazz Muhammad.

The Chicago Tribune weighs in with this article on 2013 prospect Jabari Parker. Parker had a nine points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals stat line as Simeon routed Lew Wallace 85-38 on Thursday night. [/private]

High School Hoops 2011 Edition No. 2

This week's edition starts out with player analysis on Marshall Plumlee and Quinn Cook, and then moves on to provide a bouquet of links to box scores and articles discussing the other Duke commits and recruiting targets. [private]

I watched Marshall Plumlee (7'0" 215) and Christ School take on Quality Education Academy via streaming video on the Internet, and I was pleased with some of what I observed. Plumlee ended the game with 10 points, including going 4 for 4 from the free throw line, and four blocked shots.

Quality Education Academy won by a score of 77-65 in a game that wasn't that close. The Fighting Pharaohs dominated the Greenies for the last three quarters after initially falling behind 12-3, but rallying to end the 1st quarter in a 15-15 tie. QEA utilized pressure defense and quick hands to exploit Christ School’s ball handling skills.

Plumlee worked hard in the low post on defense and was effective early in maintaining his position. Christ School played both zone and man-to-man defense in the game. Later in the game, Quality Education Academy repeatedly attacked down the middle of the lane and dished passes to the baseline for easy baskets as Plumlee attempted to step up and defend the ball.

On offense, Plumlee operated mainly out of the high post and delivered a couple of nice passes for assists. He also demonstrated the ability to drive the lane and score or draw a foul and convert from the charity stripe. This is how he scored 6 of his 10 points with the other two baskets coming from a dunk off a pass into the low post and a nice 10-12 foot jump shot in front of the free throw line.

A key point, which must be communicated, is the Greenies are a perimeter oriented 3-point shooting team that makes minimal effort to feature Plumlee in their offensive sets. Watching this game, I believe he made the most of his scoring opportunities.

The broadcast commentator commented while most high school seven footers are clumsy, Plumlee was quick off his feet and athletic. The commentator also remarked Plumlee's weakness on defense was a propensity to leave his feet too often on pump fakes and passes.

He needs to gain much more strength to be effective in the ACC and he will need to work on his left hand. Plumlee caught a pass in the low post and moved across the lane attempting a left handed jump hook, but he missed badly - air ball badly. Moreover, he was whistled for four fouls in the game as the quicker QEA players’ maneuvered by him with ease at times. One of his four fouls was for an illegal screen on an inbounds play and he committed a block attempting to break-up a fast break. The other two fouls were a direct result of him being out of position on defense. On the offensive end of the court, he was not effective rebounding the basketball.

Overall, I was impressed with Plumlee's play. He obviously still needs to improve in several areas; however, he demonstrated good skill sets and athleticism to complement his 7' 0" size, including a length of the court outlet pass off a defensive rebound, so I am optimistic he will be a valuable addition to the Blue Devil roster.

Earlier in the week, Plumlee scored 14 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as Christ School defeated Providence Day School 82-54. The day after the QEA loss, Christ School bounced back with a 94-60 victory over Ensworth. Plumlee’s stat line was nine points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots.

On Saturday afternoon, Quinn Cook (6’1” 160) and Oak Hill took on Quality Education Academy and once again I took advantage of streaming video, which was available on the Internet, at the IHigh website. Cook scored 13 points as Oak Hill came storming back, in the 4th quarter, from a double-digit deficit to defeat QEA 73-71.

Offensively, Cook is best described as smooth. He is comfortable with the ball in his hands and delivers crisp passes to teammates with ease. Cook also demonstrated the ability to attack the middle of the defense with nice drive and dish skills.

Cook orchestrates the offense with purpose quickly passing the ball to teammates or driving with the ball. He does not repeatedly pound the ball into the court without going anywhere, which is a weakness many young point guards demonstrate.

In this game, his outside shot was not falling as he only knocked down one 3-pointer even though he had several open looks. Cook has a reputation as a deadly 3-point shooter, he went 11-26 (.423) this past summer at the FIBA U17 World Championship, so I believe last night was an anomaly. All players have an off game shooting from time to time.

Defensively, Oak Hill switched up between man-to-man, a 2-3 zone, and a half court trap. Cook was aggressive in the zone and half court trap, but in the man-to-man he did not exert a tremendous amount of on ball pressure choosing instead to play off his man a bit. This could be a factor of the specific match-up or perhaps it is indicative Cook is still not fully recovered from his recent knee surgery.

Overall, Cook played a solid game and impressed me as a player who will have an immediate impact at the next level. While Cook did not demonstrate blazing speed a la Kyrie Irving or a deadly outside shot a la Andre Dawkins, he did demonstrate excellent ball handling skills and poise. With Irving most likely departed to the NBA, Cook will challenge to start and, at a minimum, be a significant contributor off the bench as a freshman.

At the Rotary Tip-Off Classic, Austin Rivers (6’5” 180) was named Tournament MVP with 28 points, 10 rebounds and four assists performance as Winter Park defeated Orlando Christian Prep 72-40 in the Championship game on Saturday night. On Thursday, Rivers scored 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting (3 of 6 on threes) as Winter Park defeated Spruce Creek 81-43, in the quarterfinals. On Friday night, in the semi-finals, Winter Park defeated Evans 74-55. Austin Rivers scored 15 points in the game.

In Richmond, Michael Gbinije (6’6” 180) was named Tournament MVP as Benedictine defeated Hopewell, 59-52, to win the Rebel Invitational. Gbinije scored 15 points in the Championship Game. He scored 28 points to lead Benedictine to an 80-76 victory over Meadowbrook in the opening game, while in the semifinals, Gbinije was held to five points, but Benedictine advanced to the championship game with a 59-45 victory over St. Christopher’s.

Rasheed Sulaimon (6’3” 180) scored 24 points on Thursday evening but Strake Jesuit dropped a 59-52 decision to Killeen Harker Heights in the opening round of the Aldine ISD Invitational. On Friday night, Sulaimon scored 20 points as Strake Jesuit defeated Waller 77-41. Strake Jesuit defeated Rosenberg Terry, on Saturday evening, 52-47.

Sulaimon is averaging 22.3 points per game through the first six games of the season. He has 18 assist against only five turnovers.

Rodney Purvis (6’2” 165) scored 18 points to lead Upper Room Christian Academy to a 75-61 victory over St. David's on Thursday night. Purvis scored 14 of his points in the 1st half.

In Wisconsin, J.P. Tokoto (6’6” 180) was held to 11 points as Milwaukee Marquette defeated Menomonee Falls 58-55 on Friday night. Tokoto was in foul trouble early and sat out most of the 1st half. On Saturday night, Tokoto exploded for 23 points including 14 in the 3rd quarter but Menomonee Falls lost to Milwaukee Washington 95-85.

Finally, wrapping up this week’s edition is Tony Parker (6’9” 265) and Miller Grove who defeated Milton 71-61. Milton was considered the number one team in the nation by several polls including USA Today. Tony Parker recorded a 20 points and 12 rebounds double-double in the big win. In this video interview, Parker credited defense as the key to the victory. Miller Grove improved to 4-0.

Signing Day – BDN and Tom Konchalski break down Duke’s 2011 class

The Duke Blue Devils Men's Basketball team landed a stellar class for the 2011 season including ESPN's top rated prospect Austin Rivers.  The Florida native told BDN last evening, "I'm looking forward to playing for Duke and want to sign as soon as possible, so I'll send my letter of intent first thing in the morning." Rivers joins Quinn Cook, Micheal Gbinije and Marshall Plumlee in one of the nations consensus top 4 classes.

We elicited the help of Tom Konchalski, the publisher and editor of High School Basketball Illustrated, has been covering high school basketball for more than thirty-five years. The 6′6″ sexagenarian, with an eidetic memory, is a McDonald’s All-American voter and a ubiquitous presence on the summer AAU circuit and the recruiting scene.

Here is a look at the class -

Duke got a stud in Austin Rivers pictured here at Coundown to Craziness with Quinn Cook. Join BDN Premium to check out our interview with Rivers and gain full site access. BDN Photo, Rick Crank

AUSTIN RIVERS - ESPN #1 rated player in his class [6-4, 190 SG, PG from Winter Park, Florida], Lead Assistant - Chris Collins, committed to Duke in September, Plays wor Winter Park H.S. and Team Stat on the AAU ciurcuit.  BDN Articles on Rivers.  Austin originally committed to Florida but reconsidered and ultimately chose Duke over UNC and Kansas.  He is a prolific offensive scorer who is unafraid of anyone or anything, meaning he loves a challenge.  He is friends with Duke PG Kyrie Irving and is the son of Glenn "Doc" Rivers, coach of the Boston Celtics.

Tom Konchalski's take -Well, first of all, there’s no one in high school basketball who has a better skill set, regardless of position. He’s great playing off of the dribble. He can get to the basket. Because he has been parented and coached by a former pro and a current NBA coach, he has a lot of the tricks of the trade. He’s spent intensive time developing his point guard skills at the Steve Nash Skills Camp as well as the Deron Williams Skills Camp. He has a lot of SteveNash’sunorthodox skills. He drives to the basket and takes what I call a half-volley shot, where he takes a half-volley layup in the lane off of the wrong foot to throw off or stay a step ahead of the defenses. In spite of the fact that his left thumb affects his shot far too much..to the point where he almost shoots a two-handed jump shot, just by repetition, he’s made himself into a lethal three point shooter. Somewhat streaky, but he’s a lethal three-point shooter when he gets into a groove. When I first saw him, as a ninth grader, I thought he made his teammates better. I thought he saw the court really well and made his teammates better. I think he’s gotten a little caught up recently with playing one-on-one. I think he looks for his offense too much. A player who is highly touted always in the back of his mind wants to be the number one player in his class and he’s absolutely a contender to be that, but I think because of that he’s tried to change his game.  At the next level, he’s got to change it back and return to making plays for others, instead of only for himself. In the event that he and Kyrie play together, I think they’ll share the ball and whoever gets the ball will just take it up and initiate the offense. Duke has played that way in the past and quite well.

Andrew's take - Rivers is as dominant a scorer as currently exists in high school basketball. He is dangerous at all three levels on the court. He's both willing and capable of pulling up for a deep three, either in transition or if there is small opening in a half-court set. His three-point shooting has become more consistent, but he's still got a tendency to be relatively streaky with this aspect of his game. Fifteen feet and in, Rivers has a preternatural ability to dissect a defense with either hand (although his dominant hand is clearly his right one) and frequently draw contact for additional points as he slices to the rim. He's added strength in the last year, which has enabled him to finish plays at an even higher rate close to the rim and withstand the frequent contact he receives on his drives and patented floater. His defense has improved, but he's more developed and committed on the other end of the court. Rivers has become much more explosive over the past year as his body, which now stands at a prototypical size for a shooting guard at 6'5," has begun to match his considerable skill. Four things have helped set him aside from even the other elite players in this class: an incredibly competitive nature, an advanced knowledge and adaptability of the game for his age, a comfortability with the spotlight and scrutiny, and a consistent level of professionalism, maturity, and openness to coaching that set him aside, even as a freshman going at the LeBron James Skills Academy.

Mark's take - I talked with Austin last evening and he was oh-so excited to officially be a Blue Devil.  Rivers has as much confidence as any player I have seen in my ten years of following the recruiting scene.  He should rock Cameron with his moves but will have to improve a bit on the defensive end.  Rivers said he is working on his post up game now and if you are a BDN Premium subscriber you will read later today.  I have seen Rivers play in about 24 games and each time he plays hard and he always wants to win.  He is now growing into his body and once he adds a little more muscle, good luck stopping him at the college level.

Quinn Cook rounded out Duke's talented class of 2011 - BDN Photo

QUINN COOK -Ranked #24 in the Class of 2011 by ESPN [6-1, 180 PG Washington, D.C.]  Lead Assistant - Nate James, Committed to Duke in November.  Plays for Oak Hill Academy and D.C. Assault AAU team.  BDN Articles on Cook.  Cook chose Duke over North Carolina and UCLA and had many suitors.  He transferred from DeMatha to Oak Hill Academy this season.  Good friends with Nolan Smith.

Tom Konchalski on Quinn Cook- I love him, but I don’t know how he could coexist with Kyrie Irving, if he’s still there.  He has great court presence, when I saw him this summer. Kevin (Armstrong) and I went down and watched him play and he just took over in the second half. He had seventeen second half points and not only did he score, but just made big plays and really took over the game completely. He’s DeMatha’s next really great player. {Quinn has since transferred to Oak Hill. He's not a particularly great athlete. He’s smaller and he’s got to get stronger as well, but most kids who are sixteen year old juniors don’t have really have a major college body either. I love Quinn Cook.

Andrew's take - Quinn is a stabilizing guard with a very advanced understanding of the game. He's a duel-threat point guard, capable as either as a pass-first point guard, as he demonstrated recently in leading the United States team in assists and, more importantly, to a Gold Medal at the FIBA World Championships over the summer in Germany, or as a scoring point, as he demonstrated in matching what was then a career-high thirty points in a win for DeMatha in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final in March. Cook has tremendous court vision and a very good sense of spacing and pacing. He's comfortable running a highly uptempo offense, but also capable of adding the patience, three-point shooting, and occasional penetration often necessary in pressurized, late game, half-court sets. Quinn is a very good leader and a well-liked, supportive teammate, who has improved his on-court communication skills over the past two years. Cook is not an explosive athlete, but he will give his teammates and coaches every ounce of his body, as he is well aware of just how fragile life can be. Defensively, he's a capable and willing defender, but not necessarily a shutdown defender. Although he sustained a partially torn ACL in August, his initial results at his new school, Oak Hill, have been impressive, including setting a new career high in points in just his second game for the Warriors.

Mark's take -I've seen Quinn Cook play in 15 games over three seasons in AAU Basketball.  My very first viewing left me more than a little impressed for Cook was playing with the older DCA team at Boo Williams.  That day he put the team on his back in a semi final match up and willed them to a win.  Cook not only led his team as a floor general, he got into the lane and scored 24 points, 14 down the stretch.  Cook is a pure PG who has played with top notch competition and he's a good addition for Duke and the program.  Nate James worked with him and he was assisted by Nolan which helped land the talented prospect in Durham.

As Plumleegains strength, he'll be a load. During the N.C. Pro Am he went head to head against veteran players and held his own. Photo property of BDN

MARSHALL PLUMLEE -Ranked #44 in his class by ESPN.  [6-11.5, 215 Warsaw, IN] Lead Assistant - Steve Wojciechowski, committed to Duke in July.  Plays for Christ Scool in Arden, N.C. and Indiana Elite on the AAU trail. BDN Articles on Plumlee.  Chose Duke over Butler, LSU, Virginia and other suitors.  Very mobile big man rated the 4th best center in the class of 2011 by ESPN.  His brothers Mason and Miles will join him at Duke next season.

Tom Konchalski on Marshall - He’s big. I’ve only seen him play with Indiana Elite. His father played for a friend of mine down at Tennessee Tech. They‘re very nice people.  I haven't seen him play in  lot of games, so will reserve comment.

Andrew's take -Marshall is a mobile seven footer who hustles at all times. He's more of a traditional low-post player than either brothers Mason or Miles were at a similar point. Like a lot of big men his age, he's been more dependent upon scoring off of dribble handoffs, offensive put backs, and vanilla post moves, when the guards make a concerted effort to get him the ball. I felt that he didn't receive enough offensive touches this summer on his Indiana Elite team, but that can be the nature of AAU basketball. He's expected to have an increased role at Christ School this season, which should be helpful for his development. Some players take time adjusting to the college game because they are suddenly playing with comparable talent, but I think this aspect will be an easy transition for Marshall as he has played on quality teams on both the high school and AAU level. As with many players his age and position, he needs to add more muscle in order to be able to withstand the constant physicality that he'll deal with at the next level. Marshall's a solid rebounder and shot blocker, but he's capable of improving in both facets. Marshall is a relatively good free throw shooter for a big man as well. For a center, he's relatively good at passing out of a double team, but still has room for improvement. Like his older brothers, he's been a supportive and friendly teammate on both programs. He can be hard on himself, but I think his best days lie ahead and it will be interesting to see his post skills, both low and high, develop in the coming years. Of the four players, I feel like I don't have as clear a read on Marshall's potential as the the other three players.

Mark's take - Hey, I'll take all the Plumlee's that hatch!  Marshall suffered a bit from lofty expectations bestowed upon him where it was said he'll be the best Plumlee.  He'll be the tallest of the Plum 3 crew and he has a bundle of potential.  He will run his own race at Duke and while he may not contribute in his first season, he'll develop and be a load when he gains some experience.  Of the three Plumlee's, he'll be the youngest coming out of high school when he lands at Duke.  He always plays hard and runs the floor well, but does not have the reach of say, his brother Miles but is very coachable which is always a good attribute.

Michael Gbinije does it all well. Here, he rocks his Blue Devil hat while attending Countdown to Craziness - Photo BDN, Rick Crank

MICHAEL GBINIJE -Ranked as the #25 player in the class of 2011 by ESPN.[6-6 194, Chester, VA.] Lead Assistant - Nate James, committed to Duke in March.  Plays for St. Benedictine H.S. and Team Takeover on the AAU circuit. Gbinije was a great get for the Duke staff in that he is the epitome of a team player.  He is very effective  on the court and should score high in Duke's True Blue ratings of efficiency.  Averaged 17,5 ppg and  6.0 rpg as a junior.  One of 10 Micahel Gbinije articles at BDN.

Tom Konchalski's take -Gbinije is a good player, very skilled perimeter player. There are some guys who are more explosiveve, but he has very good skills and size. He plays within the flow of the game and generally lets the game come to him. He plays with a very good AAU team and a good high school team, Benedictine, and so he doesn’t have to do everything himself. It’s not as if he has to be a volume shooter for the teams to be successful. I think he will be a very good player for them.

Andrew's take -Mike Gbinije is a silent killer of a wing. He can fill out a stat sheet and has no glaring weakness. As with the aforementioned Rivers, he's capable of connecting on shots at all three levels, with a mid-range game that helps to differentiate him from other wings. Gbinije is currently a slightly above-average defender, who is more focused on containment, with an eye open to the occasional opportunistic steal and open-court layup. He's got a very good frame at 6'6" and is capable of rebounding in traffic. The only real debate is how far does he want to take his game and how committed is he to reaching his potential. He brushes the fine line between rarely forcing ill-advised shots and not being aggressive enough as a scorer, which doesn't allow him to reach his productive capabilities. As with Quinn Cook, Gbinije is a steady hand, who rarely gets rattled and is capable of giving Duke minutes off of the bench as a freshman. Although he lead Team Takeover to the inaugural NIKE EYBL title at the Peach Jam, he will probably benefit initially from not being the primary focus of defenses, as I believe he can initially be a solid, complimentary player at an elite program such as Duke with the ability to grow his role and responsibilities later.

Mark's take -This is one cool customer on the court who makes his team better.  He plays within himself and has a tremendous all around skill set which could earn him immediate time.  Gbinije got better and better as he progressed and earned his way into the consensus top 30 playersrankings  and has since been a mainstay.  The kid never get flustered and keeps playing no matter what happens.  He was a quiet assassin down the stretch for his AAU club Team Takeover and his play led his over achieving team to great things.  In short, he is very efficient.

Nobody covers AAU Basketball with the depth and consistency as does BDN Premium.  Our staff has seen the prospects play in person numerous times, so we can give you a very accurate take on all future and prospective Blue Devils.  Join today and we'll keep you in the loop on all things Duke and you'll see that we are on the scene not only at the Duke games but all thge major recruiting and skills development events.

Hungry Duke gets a Cook – Quinn pulls the trigger

Oak Hill senior Quinn Cook committed to Duke University today over finalist UCLA on ESPNU this afternoon. The poised 6'1" point guard, who visited Duke twice in the past six weeks, brings excellent court vision, can hit both the mid-range and three-point shot, and handles the ball like a string. He's just as comfortable running the break as he is executing a half-court set.

After leading DeMatha, the Hyattsville stalwart, to the the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship, which was arguably the toughest high school league in the nation last year, and the D.C. City Title, Cook was named the Washington Post's Metro Player of the Year, a rare feat for a junior, averaging twenty points and six assists per game. The Prince George's County product then guided the United States to a gold medal at the FIBA Under-17 World Basketball Championship in Hamburg, Germany this past July, leading a loaded US team in assists, including eleven in the Championship game against Poland.

Quinn came back from Germany and immediately solidified an improved D.C. Assault squad in the remaining July events. In the closing moments of the Elite 24 game in Venice Beach, California, the personable point guard landed awkwardly, partially tearing ligaments in his right knee. Cook had surgery on September 3 and is expected to make a complete recovery.

This, however, wasn't the first major setback in the young man's life. Just over two and a half years ago, Ted Cook, Quinn's charismatic father, died unexpectedly from a cardiac arrest. The young man persevered through internal strength, help from his mother Janet, a vibrant New York transplant, as well as his coaches and friends at DeMatha and D.C. Assault. Among his support staff was Duke guard and D.C. Assault alumnus Nolan Smith. Smith shared a lot of things in common with the younger Cook, but the most notable one was the tragic experience of losing a father at far too young an age. Looking back, Quinn has referred to Smith and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Mike "Beas" Beasley, a fellow D.C. Assault alumnus, as his "Godbrothers," for their guidance and support during his darkest hours.

This recent injury, which was initially feared to cost Quinn his entire senior season, has proven to be a temporary setback. On October 21, the Maryland native graced the court in a scrimmage against fellow prep power Hargrave Military Academy.

Through his relationship with Nolan Smith, Quinn had visited the Duke campus on several occasions over the past few years and remained on the program's radar, but their mutual interest picked up significantly over the past six months, as fellow D.C. area native Nate James evaluated and pursued the steady point guard from Oak Hill. Following a day of USA practices in Las Vegas, Coach Krzyzewski observed Cook

BDN’s Monday Musings – Recruiting, Football Wins, Praise and Injuries

A Monday Musings tradition is the Cheerleader of the Week pic - Rick Crank, BDN Photo

Good Monday morning Blue Devil Nation!  It's the first day of November which means we are into the meat of the football schedule while basketball begins in earnest.  It'll be a busy week ahead as recruiting heats up and Duke prepares for Virginia on the football field in Wallace Wade this Saturday and Cal Poly Pamona visits Cameron Indoor Stadium prior to that.

We'll start with basketball recruiting for the November early signing period begins on the 10th of this month and ends on the 17th.  The news broke over the weekend that Myck Kabongo had decommitted from Texas and that Duke was on his list.  The Blue Devils will get involved but it remains to be seen how this one will play out for many reasons.  One of those reasons is Quinn Cook who holds an offer but who let North Carolina in at the midnight hour adding them to his list just yesterday.  Cook grew up a fan of the school and it is no secret that Roy Williams always seems to come in later on just about every kid the Blue Devils target.  A lot of people expected Cook to give Duke a verbal already, including me, but oh how the landscape changes quickly in the world of recruiting and Duke has positioned themselves to come away with a point guard to run alongside Austin Rivers.  Michael Gbinije, Marshall Plumlee and the aforementioned Austin Rivers are all expected to sign during the early period.  More recruiting discussion can be found if you gain full site access by joining BDN Premium and that's how you can support the hard work of the BDN staff and this site.

I attended the Coach K Coaching Clinic this past weekend without the media hat on for I have a passion for coaching myself.  But it was hard not to come away having gleaned some key insight into the team itself and I can share with you that Miles Plumlee earned high praise from Krzyzewski for his practice of late.  In fact, he was mentioned on three occasions and that is a sign that he'll certainly be a main cog in the lineup early on.  The key for Miles is to stay intense for Duke and he'll once again begin the season as a sure starter.

Also mentioned was the fact that Jon Scheyer's eye injury was not a good thing in that he has apparently lost some of the vision.  Scheyer will embark on a journey to Europe soon and we'll of course keep tabs on him.  Meanwhile Brian Zoubek had some unfortunate luck as well and he is currently rehabbing at Duke after an operation on his back.  BDN's wishes these national champions a speedy recovery.

Krzyzewski also spoke of "10 standards," for this seasons team and we'll let him share that at a later date.  We can tell you that the US team had 15 standards as well, bet here is what we're getting to ... the standards act as a contract.  This carries over into a much discussed issue of social media, namely Twitter.  During ACC Operation Basketball I spoke to Krzyzewski about the standards which he'd clarify more in recent days.  I basically said that he trusts his players in that they would not go as far as kids just down the road.  Krzyzewski doesn't think that he should put but so many restrictions on his team so that they'll grow in the process both on and off the court.  In short, Duke sets forth standards which players respect and adhere to and this enables Krzyzewski to trust his players judgement and that means we''ll continue to be entertained by Nolan Smith's tweets.  And isn't it obvious that the Duke kids have not embarrassed themselves or the school?

I personally think it is crazy to hang on every single comment from Twitter via prospects every little whim, but we do like it as a tool to further our site.  That said, join BDN Twitter for we bring you an additional game experience from press row in Cameron and Wallace Wade.  If you want constant behind the scenes tidbits then sign up now and get a unique perspective.  We carried you every step of the way to the national championship last year and we hope to do so again this season.  And we promise not to tweet what we are eating  and every little thing which is not pertinent to your fandom.

Man, did the football team need a win and the victory over Navy cured some ills getting the Blue Devils back into the win column.  One cannot help but think what if Duke had defeated Maryland and Wake Forest, two games where they outplayed their opponent for they'd be 4-4 going into the UVA game.  Still, the team has a chance to end the seasons with some positives but it'll take consistent play.

Winning down the stretch for Cutcliffe's troops will also be aided by another game with no turnovers.  We see what can happen when Duke protects the ball the entire game against a Navy team coming off a victory over Notre Dame.  Turnovers have doomed the Devils more often than not this season and they'll need this to turn around against a physical Virginia team coming off a win over Miami this past week.

Lastly, thanks for your patience of late as our staff has been very busy.  We'll get fully back into the gro this month and that means max coverage of the games on the Duke Beat along with some tweaks to the site along the way.  Also, check out our Facebook site which we have not pushed with the success of BDN Twitter for there all fans can post and or add pictures there.

Lastly, for the longest time we've held out from allowing advertisers on this site but that will change in the near future.  Originally, we thought we'd give you a break from those annoying ad's which bounce off the page or force you to read them for we're dependant on memberships to fund BDN.  For several years we chose to keep advertising off to facilitate a clean look for your viewing pleasure but the additional income will go towards site maintenance and growth.  We promise to avoid those annoying ads but will be adding some which we personally approve of.  Advertisers can contact Susan in Admin or myself for more details with your needs and at this time we still have a top banner opening.    Have a great week ahead and remember we all make up the Blue Devil Nation.

BDN’s Monday Musings – Bama hangover, the shadow of basketball

A Monday Musings tradition is the Cheerleader of the Week - Lance King, BDN

It's time for another edition of Monday Musings where I talk about whatever comes to mind with concerns to the Duke Athletic programs. 

Tide rolls in, Tide rolls on, Tide rolls out

When Alabama fans travel, they do so in force and when their fan base got wind that they could feel Wallace Wade Stadium the trip was considered a tourist event for many of their fans.  Waves of Crimson filled the Triangle area this past weekend where they boosted the local economy by six millions bucks.  In all honesty, it was closer to an Alabama home game than a Duke one for the crowd was 60-40 from my vantage.    It was mere seconds before one realized that Duke didn't stand a chance against a superior team.  Fans watched on as several athletic plays made one realize that this Bama team was just down right nasty good.  As the dust cleared from a 62-13 day and what seemed like the longest first quarter ever the Bama fans slowly packed up and headed back to the Deep South where they'll take on Arkansas in a dandy matchup.

In comes Army

It won't take long for Duke fans to miss the huge crowds from the Alabama game for there will be plenty of tickets available when Army rolls in.  And you know what?  They can run the ball and the Blue Devils have trouble stopping the run.  This has become a stressful situation for the football team for they so badly need this win and it adds a ton of pressure.  Despite Duke's early struggles they open as a 6.5 favorite.

Live and learn

One day down the road when Sean Renfree looks back on the Alabama game, he will realize the many lessons he learned.  Renfree rushed some passes on Saturday where film shows he could have held the ball a full two seconds or so more.  One must remember just how young Renfree is and that he is a tireless worker.  There is no doubt that he will be a really good quarterback as his career progresses.

Devils entertain recruits

We've already listed the names of several football prospects which visited campus this past weekend, but hoops was at work as well.  A key PG prospect Quinn Cook was on campus where he hung out with players, namely Nolan Smith.  Marshall Plumlee was seen towering over fans at the game as well and while I did not see Michael Gbinije, he was there.  There were a couple of more names as well which we will cover as the week goes on.


Coah K looking cool in his not so cheap sunglasses. You know, the song? Okay, nevermind. Coach K honored at the half.

Duke Baketball casts a huge shadow

No matter how ballyhooed the football game can be in Durham, basketball casts a huge shadow over athletics at all times.  Cameron Indoor Stadium saw about three thousand visiting fans at one time or another this past weekend and Coach K was honored at midfield at the half for winning another Gold for Team USA.  The excitement is already upon us and it should be for this years team will be the pre season number one ranked team in America.  Alabama fans who recognized Duke players were asking for their autographs as if they were celebrities and there were plenty of comments overheard.  FWIW, the pre season magazines are hitting the stands hard and Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith ad Kyrie Irving are all on the first three All Americans teams in each one.  Oh, and ESPNU will televise part of Countdown to Craziness.

Scalpers took a bath on Game Day

Scalpers are a necessary evil for folks always need tickets but when dealing with them you often feel like a shower is in store.  In short, they make used card salesmen look appealing.  Many of them made a killing with on line services leading up to the game but everywhere you turned on game day tickets were available below face value.  This often happens when anticipation outweighs the desire for the game has been called a sell out keeping many folks in front of their flat screens at home.

Pick the score contest winner

Tom4Duke was this weeks winner predicting a 62-17 Alabama win.  You can win one month of BDN Premium by sending us your Duke-Army pick via Twitter this week and being the closest to the score.  If you nail it, we'll give you three months of premium access.  The rules are simple - 1- you must have the winner, 2- be the closet to the actual score of both teams.  Example - You pick Duke to defeat Army 24-17 and the score is actually Duke 28-24, you are 11 total point off and of course the lower the number, the better for you.  Had you picked Army to win, you would have been automatically out.