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Quinn Cook on recruiting Tyus Jones to Duke: ‘He knew I wanted him to come here’

Having not been to a Final Four in three seasons at Duke, guard Quinn Cook entered his senior season feeling like he hadn’t accomplished anything at the University and was not about to go an entire career banner-less in Durham.

“You’re not really judged by your points and your stats here at Duke,” Cook told The Jim Rome Show. “You’re judged by your banners and what you do in March. And I’ve had a rough couple runs in March here at Duke and it was my last run at it and I used it as motivation to work all year, all summer and lead these guys as much as I could.”

So when Cook was subbed out in the final moments of Duke’s 66-52 Final Four clinching victory over Gonzaga, the captain’s emotional embrace with Coach K was understandable.

“I was just overwhelmed with joy,” Cook said of the moment. “Just because this team has been counted out all year, we’d been through so much and Coach never stopped believing in us. Coach kept our hopes up all year and when he subbed me out, he told me that ‘he loved me’ and ‘we we’re not done yet’ and I was just overwhelmed at the time.”

An important part of this year’s success were how the team’s four highly-recruited freshmen acclimated to the team. Cook laughed about the uproar on social media a year ago when Twitter was abuzz with how one of those recruits, point guard Tyus Jones, was going to take Cook’s starting gig and how Cook should show the freshman the cold shoulder.

Instead, Cook chose to welcome Jones with open arms and says he actually helped recruit the point guard to Duke.

“My sophomore year, Coach (Jeff) Capel told me that they were recruiting Tyus and they possibly wanted us to play together, so it was in my head then,” Cook said. “I met Tyus last summer at Chris Paul’s Camp, where the top high school guards and the top college guards come, and I just told him ‘I think you should come to Duke, I think it’s the best place for you, and I think we could be special together.’ And he trusted me, everybody on social media, and different outlets just trying to create a great and big competition between me and him, I think it made us closer. And so he got on campus, I welcomed him in with open arms, just wanted to lead him, because I felt that he was the best option for us to be successful this year, and I wanted to create a bond with him he won’t forget.”

Cook said it wasn’t easy seeing social media and news outlets get his and Jones’ situation all wrong, but chose not to correct it.

“I knew that he knew I wanted him to come here, I knew his family knew that I wanted him to come here, and I knew that Coach (K) wanted us to play together,” said Cook. “And when he first got here, he was the starting point guard, I was the starting shooting guard, and that’s how it’s been ever since and we made each other better. He’s always asking questions of ‘what do I see’ he’s like a sponge, he wants to learn as much as he can and he’s always coming to me for advice, and vice versa, I mean if I don’t see something he tells me and so it’s just a bond we have on the court that’s made our chemistry a lot better but we haven’t let anybody on Twitter or anything like that effect our relationship.”

  • Quinn Cook
  • Mar 31st 2015

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