Duke Recruiting: What to Do with Quinn Cook If Blue Devils Land Tyus Jones

C.J. MooreCollege Basketball National Lead WriterAugust 16, 2013

Quinn Cook averaged 11.7 points and 5.3 assists last year in his first season as a starter for the Blue Devils.
Quinn Cook averaged 11.7 points and 5.3 assists last year in his first season as a starter for the Blue Devils.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Duke could land one of the greatest package deals in the history of college basketball in the 2014 class. Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, the top point guard and big man in their class, respectively, have decided they'd like to play together.

It's assumed by most recruiting analysts and AAU coaches that the destination is Duke. That's great news for the Blue Devils.

But someone should ask Quinn Cook how he feels about the whole situation. 

Cook is a big reason the Blue Devils were one of the best teams in the country last year. He will be a two-year starter by the time 2014-15 rolls around. He wants to be the team's leader this year (see video below), and he probably should be. He might even be an all-league player by that time. 

That guy is going to lose his job? 

Mike Krzyzewski isn't one that you would expect to promise anything to a recruit, but yeah, if Jones is coming to Duke, he's going to be the starting point guard. It's highly unlikely in this age of college basketball that the top player at a position in his class is going anywhere to be somebody's backup. 

So where does that leave Quinn? In a similar situation to Nolan Smith three years ago. 

Remember Smith? He was the starting point guard on a national championship team in 2010, and then a hotshot point guard by the name of Kyrie Irving took his spot. 

Coach K did find a way for Smith and Irving to co-exist, and Smith was still a starter that season. He even got his old job back when Irving injured his toe eight games into the season and was out until the NCAA tournament. 

Before the injury, Smith had to make sacrifices. In the 11 games alongside Irving, he averaged 16.6 points and 4.6 assists. In the 26 games without Irving, his numbers went up to 22.3 points per game and 5.3 assists. 

If there is a coach who can make everyone happy and get two lead guards to share the backcourt, it is Krzyzewski. Krzyzewski made it work with Chris Duhon and Jason Williams in the early 2000s, and he was making it work with Smith and Irving. 

What could be different for Quinn is that two guys are going to have to be willing to move to the bench if all the starters return. It's hard to see future pros Rasheed Sulaimon, Rodney Hood or Jabari Parker giving up their spots. 

It'll probably work out that at least one of those three leaves for the pros, and Quinn can still be a starter. 

It's also a little too early to assume that Jones and Okafor to Duke is a done deal. But if it happens, and if everyone comes back, what happens with Quinn and how he handles his role change is something to keep an eye on.