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Duke basketball 2013-14 player preview: Quinn Cook

Leading up to Duke basketball’s first game of the season Nov. 8 against Davidson, The Blue Zone will preview all the expected contributors on this 2013-2014 squad, beginning with the freshmen Monday and ending with the seniors and grad students Friday.

Quinn Cook

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  • Year: Junior
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Position: Point guard
  • Last year's key statistics: 11.7 PPG, 5.3 APG, 3.8 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 39.3% 3PFG
Game Breakdown: Cook really came into his own as the team's starting point guard last season, balancing his ability to score with his knack for finding his teammates in a position for them to succeed. Cook's importance to last year's Duke roster became apparent early in the season, when the sophomore guard scored the Blue Devils' final eight points against No. 2 Louisville to take home the Battle 4 Atlantis crown.

Cook is a guard who can do a little bit of everything on the court. Offensively, Cook improved his 3-point shooting to a level some didn't think he could possibly attain. After shooting just 25.0 percent from beyond the arc as a freshman, Cook turned into a marksman as a sophomore, shooting 39.3 percent. Cook's passing made life easy for guys like Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry, as the ball always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Despite his lack of size, Cook was also an accomplished rebounder last season, finishing behind just Plumlee and Ryan Kelly for the team lead in rebounding. Defensively, Cook proved to be a terror at times, hounding opposing ball handlers en route to averaging 1.4 steals per game. Perhaps most notable about Cook is his heart. You can't watch a Duke basketball game without seeing the point guard's fiery passion on display.

Role on the team: Cook enters 2013-14 as the starting point guard once again. That role changes slightly this season due to Duke's run-and-gun strategy. Often the ball will be brought up court by a forward or an off-guard in order to push the pace, meaning Cook will have the ball in his hands less often. However, with more possessions and more fast break opportunities, there is every reason to think Cook's assists per game will increase this year. As the only true point guard on the roster—Tyler Thornton is more of a defensive specialist and Rasheed Sulaimon and Matt Jones are combo guards—Cook should get all the minutes he can handle. A strong pressure defender, Cook needs to be cautious with his fouls. At times last season Cook would find himself in foul woes, and that is not a situation the Blue Devils can afford to find themselves in this season.

NBA comparison: Cook's game resembles that of an NBA guard who also put it all together last season—the Houston Rockets' Patrick Beverley. Beverley showed in the playoffs last season that he is something of a jack-of-all-trades on the court, stuffing the stat sheet with points, rebounds, assists and steals. We all remember the tenacity Beverley plays with, as it was Beverley's hustle play that prematurely ended Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook's season. Cook showed a better touch from beyond the arc than Beverley did last season, but both small guards have a knack for being able to contribute in all facets of the game.

Projected statline: 13.5 PPG, 6.5 APG, 3.0 RPG, 1.7 SPG

Check back later today for previews of Josh Hairston, Tyler Thornton and Andre Dawkins.

Players we've already previewed: Jabari Parker, Matt Jones, Semi Ojeleye, Rasheed Sulaimon, Amile Jefferson, Marshall Plumlee, Alex Murphy, Rodney Hood

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