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.
Oak Hill Academy coach Steve Smith has coached a few pretty good point guards in his day.
Rajon Rondo, Ty Lawson, Marcus Williams and Brandon Jennings have all come through the Virginia powerhouse in the last decade or so.
The latest stud point guard at Oak Hill is Quinn Cook, who transferred from DeMatha (Md.) Catholic for his senior year but is now rehabbing from torn meniscus cartilage in his knee.
“He’s comparable [to the other Oak Hill guards],” Smith said Friday in a phone interview. “I saw him play this summer and spring. He hasn’t played at all this off-season. I’ve never coached him. From what I saw of him earlier at DeMatha his freshman and sophomore years, he’s a very, very good player. He has a great IQ. I like the way he runs the team. He has a great feel for the game. He’s got all the tools.”
Smith said Cook has a check-up with his doctor at 10:45 this morning near his home in Maryland. Oak Hill opens its season Oct. 30.
“He’s rehabbed really well,” Smith said. “He’s been riding a stationary bike and shooting, but not running well. I think he’s about ready to progress his rehab a little more. He’s a few more weeks away.
“Hopefully he’ll be able to play by [the opener]. I think he’ll be ready. I’m not sure if he can play major minutes. I think he’ll be able to run.”
Cook’s recruitment is somewhat up in the air at the moment both because his knee injury limited his travel options — “The doctors don’t want me flying,” Cook said last week — and because there are very few elite point guards left on the board.
“It kind of changes a lot because [schools] are missing on guys,” Smith said. “There’s not really many point guards left. Nobody left of his caliber. He’s the best point guard that I know of.”
Cook appeared very interested in Arizona — and was planning a visit in October — but Oakland Soldiers point guard Josiah Turner shocked a lot of people by verballing last weekend to the Wildcats during a visit. Many observers thought Turner would land at Kansas.
“I think he was interested,” Smith said of Cook and Arizona. “Turner visited before he did and pulled the trigger. I don’t know where they stood on his [Cook’s] list. I know they were recruiting him hard. He was interested and he was gonna visit.
“[Arizona-bound Oak Hill wing] Sidiki Johnson was working him. They had a shot at him.”
Now Smith says Duke, Kansas, UCLA, Villanova and North Carolina are showing the most interest.
Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend visited Cook Thursday. The Jayhawks are in need of a point guard now that Turner committed to Arizona.
“They’re supposed to be coming back in the next week or early the next week,” Smith said. “They’re trying to get involved. Josiah Turner committed to Arizona.”
UCLA head coach Ben Howland comes into the home in Maryland today (Friday) to meet Cook and his mother.
“The visits all change,” Smith said. “I know he’s meeting with UCLA today and they’re trying to get him to visit next weekend [Oct. 1].”
Duke comes to the school Monday and a source with knowledge said Cook would trip officially to Duke Oct. 15, the same date Austin Rivers comes. Smith could not confirm that visit date.
Cook previously told me and Rivers are friends and could play together in the same backcourt.
As for North Carolina, Smith said he wasn’t sure how serious they are.
“I think Carolina’s supposed to come Monday,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll be in next week. I don’t know how serious they are about recruiting him. They don’t seem to be. They have a freshman point guard [Kendall Marshall]. I don’t know that they’ve offered.”
Smith said Villanova and St. John’s have not been in to visit.
“He mentioned something about [St. John’s] but they haven’t been down to see him,” he said. “They could be talking to his mom.”
MCLEMORE PLANNING VISITSThe other uncommitted senior at Oak Hill is 6-5 guard Ben McLemore of St. Louis, the No. 4 shooting guard in the Class of 2011.
“Missouri, Kansas and Tennessee, those are this top three,” Smith said. “He’s talking about signing late. That could completely change.”
Smith said McLemore could visit Missouri Oct. 8, Kansas Oct. 15 for “Late Night in the Phog” and Tennessee Oct. 22
“He’s going to ‘Late Night’ at Kansas,” Smith said. “Missouri’s trying to get him to visit before that.
“He’s talking about the 8th and 9th at Missouri, but he’s gotta take the SAT and ACT then. He’s trying to work it out where he takes the test at the school.
“He could visit somebody next weekend (Oct. 1/2) but I don’t know that he’s going to.”
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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.