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Thursday, November 4, 2010
Duke lands PG Quinn Cook

By Reggie Rankin
ESPN Recruiting

For the second year in a row, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has lured an elite point guard to Durham, N.C. Last year, it was McDonald's All-American Kyrie Irving. This year, it's four-star PG Quinn Cook (Hyattsville, Md./Oak Hill), who is No. 24 in the ESPNU 100 and the best remaining point guard on the board.

"The reason I chose Duke is because of Coach K," said Cook, who chose the Blue Devils over Villanova, UCLA and North Carolina.

With three other ESPNU 100 prospects already committed, including the No. 1 overall player, SG Austin Rivers (Winter Park, Fla./Wiinter Park), Cook is exactly what the Blue Devils needed. He is a pass-first point guard with a great pedigree, having played at two nationally-ranked programs in DeMatha and Oak Hill, who can distribute the ball to all of Duke's scoring options on the perimeter and down low.

With combination guard Nolan Smith graduating after this season, immediate playing time is available for Cook, even if Irving decides to stay for another year because two point guards can easily play together and excel in Duke's spread motion offense and pressure man-to-man defense. The collection of guards that Duke could potentially have would provide non-stop excitement when you combine Cook, Irving and Rivers with sophomore Tyler Thornton.

"I have a lot of respect for him. He is a great player," Rivers said. "He is going to help our team at Duke be even better."

Cook is recovering from late-summer knee surgery but is back playing and getting better each time he takes the floor. He has great speed and quickness along with the ability to break down the defense at will off the bounce. He can also make plays off ball screens for himself or teammates, and knocks down open jumpers with range to the arc. More importantly, he's good in pressure situations with the clock winding down. Defensively, he applies excellent ball pressure, which will help him get playing time faster than scoring.

Regardless of what happens roster wise for Duke, the point guard position will be in good hands when Cook is running the show.

Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter. Paul Biancardi contributed to this story.