Quinn Cook had endeared himself to his teammates and fans thanks in part to his emotional displays on the court. The Q look, the snarl – his trademark raised-lip face goes by a few names, but it is impossible to miss.
“Those facial expressions, he likes to do them,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday, with a smile and a laugh. “They haven’t gotten him in trouble. I don’t know if he has been taught that.”
He has certainly had time to practice them, on and off the court.
Cook, a senior, is on schedule to graduate in May with his degree in Theater Studies. Once he took a few classes in that department, he knew he had found his niche.
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“That’s my personality,” he said. “I took a couple classes when I first got here not knowing what I wanted to do, and I fell in love with the people, fell in love with the students that are usually in those classes. I just fell in love with everything. It’s different.”
His teammates agree that it’s a good fit for him.
“Theater definitely fits him. Definitely fits him,” guard Tyus Jones repeated for emphasis. “He’s emotional. The facial expressions and all that, so theater is definitely a good fit for that.”
Jones, regrettably, has not had the opportunity to see Cook perform on campus. But two years ago, the entire Duke team went to watch Cook, then a sophomore, and Andre Dawkins perform in a play.
The name escaped Cook, but it was a foreign language Asian drama (the script had been translated to English). Cook and Dawkins were the only performers not of Asian descent.
“It was cool to meet new people, it was cool to interact with the people in the play,” Cook said. “And their love for basketball – they loved Yao Ming. That’s one thing I remember.
“It was great. It was fun to step out.”
Cook has certainly stepped out on the court this year, averaging 15.5 points as a senior captain, good for second-team All-ACC honors and an honorable mention All-American nod from The Associated Press.
Beyond his scoring, Cook has been a go-to defender, frequently guarding an opponent’s best perimeter player. Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant, Utah’s Delon Wright and Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos are All-Americans who had tough scoring nights against Cook.
Once his time at Duke ends, Cook is much more likely to continue down the basketball avenue – he doesn’t have any professional aspirations when it comes to acting. He was aware, though, of Delvon Roe, a former Michigan State basketball player who gave up the sport to pursue acting.
“I don’t have that confidence,” Cook said, laughing, about following Roe’s lead. “I’m not that good.”