Quinn Cook sounds off on Marcus Smart's altercation with a fan

Anytime a Duke player steps onto a basketball court outside the friendly confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium, it is likely they will be playing in a hostile environment. When the No. 8 Blue Devils head down Tobacco Road to face rival North Carolina Wednesday night, the Dean E. Smith Center will spare Duke no mercy.

But what happens when heckling goes too far? Last weekend, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart learned the hard way when he got into a fight with a fan at Texas Tech and was subsequently suspended three games by the Big 12. Although it is not clear what was said to set Smart off, it isn't unreasonable to think that Duke players that walk into opposing stadium with targets on their backs often hear similar jeers from opposing fans.

"My best advice would be if you get in the crowd and get in that situation, just walk away. Whatever's said, just walk away," Duke point guard Quinn Cook said. "It was unfortunate that Marcus Smart was put in that situation, but you never know what was said or how Marcus Smart heard it."

The type of situation that Smart found himself in was one that could have just as easily happened in Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the fans are often ruthlessly critical and students stand just feet away from the court.

When asked what type of preparation he employs to play in the ACC's most hostile environments, Cook elaborated that the shock value goes down quickly as players gain experience. Simply, being heckled on the road is part of being a Duke basketball player.

"Coming here, we're everybody's biggest game and we understand that. We understand a lot of people hate Duke, so Coach will tell us before we go to a hostile environment, 'This will be said. That will be said. Don't react.' That's a part of the process, being here that's what you have to go through. I think we're used to it now."


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