Since John Calipari has taken over the reigns at UK, Kentucky has started to compete frequently for the top recruits in the nation. Of course that means battling the big boys and UNC's Ol' Roy has definitely flexed his recruiting muscles over the years. Calipari, though, has never been one to back down from a fight. He has North Carolina's backyard target Quincy Miller on campus for the game and he's also showing some attention to this young man. Take a look at Quinn Cook:
#6 PG, #31 overall, 4 stars (Rivals.com); #5 PG, #20 overall, 5 stars (Scout.com)
Point man with a good handle and strong leadership qualities. Above average passer, quick and not afraid to attack the basket. Makes up for his lack of size by utilizing his speed. (Check him out for yourself
Recently made a visit to UNC's midnight madness followed by a visit to check out Wake Forest's campus. Lives in close proximity to Maryland, which would be considered his home school. Other schools interested in Cook include Arizona, Kansas State, Ohio State, Villanova, Tennessee and Duke.
I was recently fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to discuss Quinn Cook's recruitment with the young man
. Very articulate, mature and polite, I appreciate him giving up his time to do an interview with me. Here's some of the highlights of that discussion
DR: First off, just tell me where you're at in the process right now
: Right now I'm just wide open. I have no favorites right now, I'm just enjoying the process. Probably midway through the season or after the season I'm going to cut down and really get a strong 13 schools and really go from there. Right now I'm just eyes open, enjoying the process.
DR: What are some of the schools coming at you the hardest
: Kentucky, [North] Carolina, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Tennessee, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Baylor, Arizona, Maryland and there's a couple more. [Note from DR: Quinn really struggled here to name all the schools on his list, displaying just how many top programs are after him right now]
DR: Out of those schools there, which ones have offered you a scholarship
: I know Wake [Forest], Arizona, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Georgetown, Tennessee and that's all I can think of right now.
DR: Has Kentucky offered
you a scholarship at this point?
: No, they want to get me on campus and get to know me a little better before they advance any farther in our recruiting.
DR: Have you guys discussed possible dates for getting you on campus
, anything like that?
: I was supposed to go a few weeks back but we had a practice, like a coach's clinic, for our school so I was going to go that weekend but our coach, since I'm a leader on the team, said I had to be there so I had to reschedule. So I was going to go sometime during the season where I have a two day off day or maybe sometime after the season.
DR: How are they pursuing you at this point and what are they saying about how they'll utilize you
? I assume it is Coach Antigua who is speaking to you the most?
: Coach Antigua was recruiting me when the staff was at Memphis but, ever since they went over to UK, Rod Strickland has been the one really in contact with me. He was at most of my games this summer and he thinks I can come in there and have an impact as soon as I get there because the guards they have could be one and done or the 2010 point guard they get could be one and done and he just wants me to see how they use Eric Bledsoe and John Wall, etc.
DR: Can you talk a little bit about you being a point guard and having Rod Strickland
, being a former NBA point guard, recruiting you?
The funny thing is that when he used to play with the Wizards he used to be one of my favorite players and I used to go to every game and that's one of my favorite players. Just to have a person that you really look up to recruit you and you could possibly be part of a family like UK it's just a plus. Rod's just a great guy.
DR: Going back to some of your other visits, what are some of the visits you have taken
: I've taken a visit to Ohio State, Wake Forest and [North] Carolina.
DR: You were at Carolina for their midnight madness
DR: Can you tell me a little bit about that visit and how you felt after that visit
: It was a great visit. They showed me around the campus. They showed me all the people they had go through the system. Late Night with Roy was cool. I had like a 30 minute talk with Roy Williams after the event and he was just telling me that, out of the guys he's recruiting, I'm one of his favorites and he's very interested but before he offers his recruits he wants to get to know you, get to know you a little more. He just wants to get to know me and he'll be at a lot of my games this year when he has time.
DR: Just as the last question, what's some of the things that coaches are asking you to work on to improve
and how are you doing that?
You know you have to improve everyday, especially to play at a high level. They just tell me to get stronger, of course, work on my speed and you got to just study the game, you got to read defenses. Getting better mentally and physically as well.
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