The Utah Jazz are a young team with a bright future. They possess young talent at almost every position and seem to be only a “natural” point guard away from contending on a yearly basis.
While the 2013 draft may not be as deep as last year’s, it is starting to look like it will produce a talented, albeit shallow, class of point guards. A deeper look at the point guard class could reveal who is most likely to succeed Mo Williams as Utah’s floor general.
One player who has been somewhat of a revelation this season is Duke point guard Quinn Cook. While he wasn’t expected to come out of college by anyone at the start of the year, Cook’s inspired play for the Blue Devils has turned him to a borderline first-round pick in many mock drafts.
As a junior in high school, Cook was rated the top point guard in the country, routinely dominating high school rival and UNC-bound/future first-round draft pick Kendall Marshall. Unfortunately, an injury to his knee caused him to miss much of his senior year of high school. He subsequently fell in the recruiting rankings and spent much of his freshman year at Duke rehabbing his knee and regaining his confidence.
So far this season, Cook has lead the Blue Devils past four top-25 teams, including top-ranked Louisville, Kentucky, and Ohio State. Cook is a playmaking point guard who looks to distribute to his teammates. While his offense is still a work in process, he has the ability to drive with range out to about 22 feet.
Perhaps Cook’s greatest asset is his ability to defend. Johnathan Givony of DraftExpress.com described Cook, saying, “He can also be a bulldog on the defensive end, getting in the passing lanes. He’s an absolute pest putting pressure on the ball, even if his lack of size raises concerns for the future if he doesn’t grow a bit more.”
Cook has easily been Duke’s early-season MVP and it would come to no surprise to if Cook finishes this season with All-ACC honors and finds himself drafted in the low-lottery range, which happens to be right where Utah will be drafting. As stated earlier, if the draft were to take place tomorrow, Quinn Cook would most likely be drafted in the late first-to-early second-round range. He doesn’t have the best size (6’1) or a massive wingspan to make up for it (6’3), and while his playmaking and passing ability are superb, he needs to continue working on a deep jumper. That being said, there are few players in the NCAA who have shown the level of improvement that Cook has since last season.