Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Quinn Cook was in the car on the way back to Oak Hill Academy from Duke when I caught up with him early Saturday evening.
The 6-foot-1 senior point guard enjoyed his brief visit for No. 1 Alabama’s 62-13 drubbing of the Duke football team and could envision teaming up with Austin Rivers in a potential future Duke backcourt.
“We definitely can play together,” said Cook, the No. 7 point guard in the Class of 2011 according to Rivals. “Austin is one of my close friends. We were on the same team at [Boost Mobile] Elite 24. We play well together. We communicate very well. He’ll tell me what he sees and I tell him what I see. He’s a very great player. I like being on the court with Austin.”
Rivers, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2011, visits Duke Oct. 15 and is also considering North Carolina and Kansas.
As for Cook, he tentatively plans to visit Duke again Oct. 2 for an official and Arizona Oct. 15 for another visit. He is still working out his other visits and is also considering UCLA, Villanova, St. John’s and North Carolina. Rutgers is no longer in the mix after the Myles Mack commitment, and Georgetown is also out.
“My visits got all messed up because of my knee,” he said. “The doctors don’t want me flying. I was supposed to go to Arizona next weekend but I’m gonna move that to the 15th. I’m supposed to go back to Duke Oct. 2.”
Cook tore the meniscus cartilage in his knee during the Elite 24 game in Venice Beach, Calif. in August and was initially thought to be out at least three months. But he expects to be back sooner and is doing physical therapy six times a week.
“I’ll be doing on-the-court stuff in two weeks,” he said. “I’m getting back to 100 percent. I should start playing in about four weeks. The doctors don’t want me to rush coming back. I want to take my time and keep doing therapy.”
Cook attended the first half of the football game and hung out with Duke senior guard Nolan Smith and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley before they left for Smith’s apartment. All three are from the DC/Maryland area and all three played at Oak Hill.
“Me, Nolan and Mike are so close, at halftime we left and watched the rest of the game in Nolan’s apartment,” Cook said. “My leg was getting out of hand.”
Cook said Smith doesn’t pressure him about coming to Duke, though.
“When we talked it’s just brothers,” he said. “It’s just us talking about regular stuff.”
Before the football game, Cook met with Coach K and the two exchanged some Team USA stories. The Duke coach won gold at the FIBA World Championships in Turkey, while Cook helped the USA U17 team win gold in Hamburg, Germany.
“He [Coach K] says I’m one of the best leaders he’s ever seen,” Cook said. “The way I run my team and communicate. He said I could be a big key as a freshman because they’ll have a very young team. The seniors will be leaving. He thinks I can succeed at Duke.”
Whether Cook and Rivers end up together at Duke remains to be seen, but Blue Devil fans sound like they have reason for optimism.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.