The Utah Jazz fell hard and picked up their eighth consecutive loss to the Denver Nuggets 100-81 on Monday night.

The Jazz got off to great start by attacking the basket and spreading the floor on offense before the Nuggets could set up their man-to-man defense. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the first quarter play for the Jazz was their decisiveness on offense. Gordon Hayward showed great control in transition, Derek Favors finally showed Jazz fans a “go-to” move with his baseline jumper, and Enes Kanter used muscle in the paint. Utah closed out the first quarter 26-20.

Throughout the second quarter, the Nuggets caught their groove and point guard, Ty Lawson, found success through penetration, causing the Jazz to collapse down low which then opened up the floor for the Nuggets’ jump shooters. The Jazz lost their lead and ended the half trailing by one, with a score of 46-45.

The Jazz fought hard during the third quarter but the Nuggets maintained a lead by slowing down Gordon Hayward. Long time Nuggets’ point guard and former Utah Ute, Andre Miller, brought unparalleled smarts and energy to the floor and picked apart the Jazz defense. The Nuggets remained in control with a two-point lead at the end of the third, 70-68.

By the middle of the fourth quarter the Jazz started playing frantic basketball. We’ve seen it before and it all starts with rushed shots and turnovers down the stretch. If there was a game this season the Jazz should have won, it was this one against the Nuggets.

Guards: The biggest problem with the Jazz point guards tonight was speed. Ty Lawson made the Jazz look like they had glue on their shoes, but the real noticeable problem came when veteran Andre Miller scored 15 points and looked young compared to Jamal Tinsley and John Lucas III. The Jazz didn’t have the speed or shooting power to keep up with the Nuggets on Monday’s loss. Grade: C+

Forwards: Jazz fans can be proud of the way Gordon Hayward played on Monday night. He attacked the rim in the first half and showed excellent hustle on defense. Hayward gave the Jazz a good name but ultimately lacked offensive consistency throughout the second half. Grade: B

Centers: Derek Favors and Enes Kanter showed great improvement in Monday’s loss by attacking the rim and having “go-to” moves when the ball found itself in their hands. Rookie Rudy Gobert still looked timid and offensively was almost non-existent for the Jazz. Grade: B+

Coaches: Coach Ty Corbin and his assistants seem to be a bit too comfortable in games that are highly winnable. The Jazz coaching staff played the expected guys tonight but failed to call timeouts that could have slowed Denver’s momentum in the fourth quarter. Grade: C

Officiating: The referees didn’t impress anyone Monday night in Utah. It seemed each referee had a few accidental breaths into his whistle, the first making itself manifest against Enes Kanter about one minute into the game. Jazz fans would also strongly disagree with a travel called on forward Gordon Hayward during a pivotal point in the fourth quarter. Grade: C

Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets showed confidence in their transition game early one but really stuck it to the Jazz with their guard play. The Jazz had no answers for Ty Lawson or Andre Miller. Nuggets’ center, JJ Hickson, also gave the Jazz something to remember when we “posterized” Jazz forward, Marvin Williams. Grade: A-

Bobby Macey is a social media guru and marketing/public relations specialist by day. By night, he’s a writer for Deseretnews.com covering the Utah Jazz. Follow him on Twitter @Bobmacey

The Utah Jazz lost their season opener at Energy Solutions Arena 101-98 against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. Every now and then, the Jazz showed glimpses of greatness in Salt Lake City as they scored in transition and dunked the ball every chance they had. Unfortunately for Jazz fans, the storm the Thunder brought was too strong for the young Jazz team, even on their home court.

The Jazz exchanged buckets with the Thunder during the first half but fell apart with 1:30 left in the first half, giving up several points including a three pointer from Thabo Sefolosha at the buzzer to end the half.

The third quarter belonged to the Thunder and they picked apart the Jazz defense exploiting every possible weakness. The Jazz didn’t help themselves as they got into foul trouble and seemingly forgot how to set their feet on defensive plays that could have been potential charges.

Despite their foul trouble and Gordon Hayward spending a lot of time on the bench, the Jazz fought back in the fourth quarter led by one Alec Burks. Burks contributed 24 points, six assists, and several acrobatic and frankly athletic plays that ignited in the Jazz a desire to win their season opener.

Ultimately, the Jazz shot themselves in the foot by getting into early foul trouble, missing free throws (20/30) and turning the ball over 22 times during the game – including at pivotal moments.

Guards: Jazz fans should be tipping their hats to Alec Burks who single handedly provided a spark and contagious levels of energy to bring the Jazz back from a double-digit deficit to content until the final shot of the game. Burks led the team in scoring by attacking the rim but ultimately still lacks a consistent outside jump shot. Despite his athleticism and jaw dropping acrobatic stunts, he turned the ball over with under 30 seconds left in the game forcing Derek Favors to foul Kevin Durant which resulted in two made free throws and a five point game. Burks and other Jazz guards need to decrease overall turnovers. Grade: A-

Forwards: If there was a “forward of the game” award for Wednesday’s game it would easily be given to Mike Harris for his defensive efforts and offensive spark during key moments in the game. Harris finished with 13 points before fouling out of the game. Small forward Gordon Hayward struggled offensively and rode the bench early because of fouls. Grade: B

Centers: Favors and Kanter impressed the home crowd with several monster jams during the first quarter and fought hard throughout the game to contain Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. Both centers caused discomfort for Nick Collison in the paint and out muscled the Thunder for a combined 29 points and 19 rebounds. Rookie Rudy Gobert even got some decent minutes in the season opener and contributed seven rebounds to a team total of 44. Grade: A-

Coaches: Coach Ty Corbin showed maturity by calling timeouts at key moments during the game and trusting the players who were hot both offensively and defensively. Coach Corbin still doesn’t know who his finishers are and what role each player should have during the final stretch of games. He did, however, demonstrate instinctive coaching strategy by trusting Alec Burks and Mike Harris to lead the Jazz team into the final minutes. Grade: B+

Officiating: At first glance, it would have been easy for Jazz fans everywhere to yell at their TVs or those attending the game to yell directly at the referees. Upon seeing replays and reviews, the referees actually called a nice game. Ultimately, there was one controversial call that gave Gordon Hayward his third foul in the second quarter requiring Coach Corbin to bench him early in the game. Grade: B+

Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder were missing their all-star point guard, Russell Westbrook, in Wednesday’s game in Salt Lake City, but ultimately Kevin Durant led his team to a solid win over the Utah Jazz. The Thunder showed that they know how to execute a half court offense and punish teams for turnovers with quick points in transition. One thing is for certain, the Thunder looked good overall but when Russell Westbrook gets back, LOOKOUT! Grade: A-

Bobby Macey is a social media guru and marketing/PR specialist by day. By night, he’s a writer for Deseretnews.com covering the Utah Jazz. Follow him on Twitter @Bobmacey and @utjazznation

The Utah Jazz fell to the L.A. Lakers 108-94 on Tuesday night at the Staples Center. Despite a 9-0 run to start the game, the Jazz allowed the Lakers to exploit every visible weakness in their game plan in Tuesday’s loss.

The Jazz looked fresh and upbeat as they scored several points in transition to start the game and they held strong throughout the first quarter capturing a 26-18 lead. That lead quickly diminished as the Lakers outscored the Jazz 33-19 in the second quarter and maintained the lead throughout the rest of the game.

Despite strong efforts from Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks, the Jazz lacked in half court offensive execution and shot poorly from the free throw line. Ultimately, this game came down to experience and Jazz were out played, out hustled, and out coached. Now lets examine and attach a letter grade to the guards, forward, centers, coaches, referees, and overall Lakers team.

Jazz guards are aggressive – Although Alec Burks shined from a point/shooting guard standpoint and contributed 14 points and six assists, the rest of the point guards brought down the overall grade scale due to turnovers and jitters. It was nice to see the starters attack but once the rookies entered the game the turnovers began to pile up. Grade: C

Gordon Hayward takes place as leader – Gordon Hayward attacked the rim and got to the free line on several occasions in Tuesday’s loss. He shined as the go to guy for the Jazz but ultimately went cold down the stretch. Unfortunately for Utah, none of the other forwards could make up for Hayward’s cold streak. Grade: B

Jazz centers need “go to” moves – Enes Kanter started the game by hitting a 17 foot jumper over Pau Gasol and gave Jazz fans a glimmer of hope for Tuesday’s game. Despite further attempts from Kanter to produce offensively, the Laker’s centers proved to cause some discomfort for him and Derek Favors throughout the game.

Favors showed some promising athleticism on the defensive end of the court but much like Kanter, he does not have a “go to” move and it’s causing confusion in the paint. Despite the starters’ best efforts, it was Brian Cook who gave a good name to the Jazz centers Tuesday as he added 18 points coming off the bench. Grade: B-

Ty Corbin and coaching staff let Jazz lose for experience – Jazz fans witnessed something that many basketball lovers would perceive as disgusting coaching while others may refer to it as necessary sacrifice on Tuesday night.

Coach Corbin benched his starters despite it being a one possession game with under five minutes left in the fourth quarter. He played his cards and chose to play Rudy Gobert and other young players all in the name of experience. Even Jazz broadcaster and former player, Matt Harpring, commented on Coach Corbin’s game decisions down the stretch by inferring that Corbin didn’t care to win the game but would rather that the young guys gain some good experience. Grade: C-

The referees show no bias – It seems every sports fan yearns for an opportunity to yell at the TV with a mouthful of comments directed toward the referees at some point during their teams game. Well, the referees didn’t give Jazz fans a legitimate reason to be angry with them on Tuesday. The Jazz beat themselves by missing key free throw attempts and the Lakers outplayed the Jazz in all other regards. In a way, it’s somewhat refreshing to know the referees called a nice game. Grade: A-

The L.A. Lakers can move the ball – Once the Lakers caught some steam in the second quarter they put together a nice game and moved the ball extremely well by taking advantage of Jazz turnovers and making extra passes for easy shots at the rim. Steve Nash and Pau Gasol didn’t have to save their team at the Staples Center on Tuesday. All in all, they merely out played and out hustled the Utah Jazz. Grade: B

Well, there it is Jazz fans… Another report card dishing out grades to players and coaches like they were assists from the one and only John Stockton. Stay faithful Jazz Nation.

By Bobby Macey. See this article on DeseretNews.com. 

The Utah Jazz felt a boom from the Oklahoma City Thunder at Energy Solutions Arena as they dropped to 41-38 on the season in Tuesday’s 90-80 loss.

The Thunder flew into Salt Lake City after a tough 125-120 loss  to the New York Knicks on Sunday night in Oklahoma City. The team came to Utah with a sense of determination and focus to get the win. Coach Scott Brooks spoke with the media and said, “We always seem to find ways to get better after a loss.” The Thunder certainly showed that against the Jazz as Russell Westbrook led the team with his speed and 25 points.

Westbrook spent his college days at UCLA (2006-2008) and was selected as the fourth overall pick of the 2008 NBA draft. Although drafted as a Seattle Supersonic, he’s spent his entire career in Oklahoma City.

Since 2008, Westbrook has become a three-time NBA All-Star and represented the USA national team twice, including one appearance in the 2012 Summer Olympics where he won a gold medal. He’s also currently the NBA leader for the most consecutive games played at over 293.

Since college, Westbrook has become a stronger, faster player who is expected to disrupt the defensive play of opposing teams. Coach Brooks didn’t have anything but positive things to say about his All-Star point guard after Tuesday’s win. “Russell sets the tone all the time. He doesn’t get enough credit for his aggressive play. He helps us win games, a lot of games.” He continued, “The way he plays, he attacks, he puts so much pressure on the defense it opens up shots for Thabo, it opens up shots for Surge, and KD.”

Westbrook not only led the team in scoring against the Jazz, but he contributed five rebounds, three steals and two assists. Over the course of his career he’s averaged 21.3 points per game and just over seven assists per game against the Jazz. Although his assists on Tuesday weren’t as high as his career average against the Jazz, he made up the difference in points.

Westbrook didn’t need match his career average for assists against the Jazz during Tuesday’s game because his friend and teammate, Kevin Durant, had more than enough to spare.

Durant fell one assist short of reaching a trible-double in Tuesday’s game. He helped the Thunder, and Westbrook, by contributing 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. “KD did a good job of spreading out his game. He could have easily taken more shots if he wanted to,” said Coach Brooks. His unselfish play allowed his teammates to thrive against the Jazz and opened up lanes for Westbrook to penetrate and get open jump shots.

As the Thunder fight to improve their record in the Western Conference both Westbrook and Durant seem more focused on playing “Thunder basketball” than stealing the number one spot from the San Antonio Spurs before heading into the playoffs.

Westbrook told the media in a post game interview that being the number one seed is “not that important.” He continued, “the important thing for us is just to be playing the right way.”

Durant also commented on the importance of just playing the Thunder way. “I think for us it’s more important to play good basketball. If we do that with defense and offense we’ll be pretty good,” he said. “Of course we’d like to have the number one seed but I think we’re just focused more on playing good basketball.”

The Thunder (57-21) remain a half game behind the Spurs (57-20) but with Westbrook and Durant on the court, anything could happen as the regular season comes to an end.

Post Game Interviews:

 

By Bobby Macey. See this article on the Deseret News

The Utah Jazz got eaten alive by the “Manimal” and the rest of the Denver Nuggets losing 113 – 96 on Wednesday at Energy Solutions Arena. The loss snapped a five game winning streak and put the Jazz one half game behind the L.A. Lakers in the fight for the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff run.

One thing is for certain, Kenneth Faried, perhaps known better as the “Manimal,” created problems early on for the Jazz when he scored nine quick points in the first quarter, most of which came in the paint near the hoop. Faried played his college ball at Morehead State University and led the Eagles deeper than expected to surprise the nation in the 2010-2011 NCAA March Madness tournament.

Faried has averaged 11.1 points per game throughout his NBA career and 11.7 points per game throughout the 2012-2013 season. Against the Jazz he has a career average of 18 points per game and finished with 19 points on Wednesday night. The only Denver player to outscore him in Utah on Wednesday was Danilo Gallinari, who hit some big shots in the second half and ended the game as the Nuggets’ leading scorer with 21 points.

The Manimal, Kenneth Faried. sportsgrid.com

Faried told reporters that the rivalry between Utah and Denver fuels him. He likes playing against Utah’s post players, especially Al Jefferson because “it’s always a challenge.” He commented specifically on playing against Big Al and said. “He know how to score. He’s a vet. We talked on the court and he said, ‘Hey you’re playing good’ and I’m like, ‘not as good as you.’ I mean, he know how to score the ball, he’s just amazing!’”

Faried showed basketball fans watching the game that Big Al Jefferson wasn’t the only amazing player on the court. Not only did Faried contribute the game offensively, but he had an acrobatic block on a shot attempt from Gordon Hayward that killed any hope of the Jazz extending their lead in the first quarter.

Faried continued to amaze the Utah crowd (Jazz Nation) when he caught an alley-00p pass that teammate and former Utah Ute, Andre Miller threw from half court. Faried put together a nice game and has become well known among NBA fans as the “Manimal,” but his fans should know that his locker room behavior is anything but “manimalistic.”

Kenneth Faried

Denver’s Kenneth Faried dunks over Utah’s Paul Millsap as the Jazz and the Denver Nuggets play Wednesday, April 3, 2013 in Salt Lake City at EnergySolutions Arena. Denver beat the Jazz 113-96. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

 

As Faried spoke to reporters he was lathering himself with lotion he took from a very neat and organized travel bag full of hygiene products. He even shared his lotion with teammates. Now what animal would do that? I guess he acts on his “manimalistic” instincts on the court but appreciates a nice smooth and soft coat of skin in his down time.

The Nuggets appreciated the help of their starting power forward in the win against the Jazz and maintain their spot as the third seed, only behind the Spurs and the Thunder, in the Western Conference standings.

By Bobby Macey. View my article on the Deseret News website.

The Utah Jazz burned the Phoenix Suns in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night with a 103-88 win. The Jazz improved to 36-36 on the season while the Suns dropped to 23-49.

Although Phoenix has had a less than mediocre season, Suns fans may look forward to upcoming years with the Morris brothers representing their team. The brothers reunited on the court when Phoenix traded a second round pick to the Houston Rockets to bring the identical twins together again. The twin brothers, Markieff and Marcus Morris spent their college years playing for Kansas from 2008 – 2011.

At Kansas, the Morris brothers led their team in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots during their final season. They also led Kansas to a Big 12 title and into the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed. Basketball fans questioned how the boys would do separated in the NBA when Markieff was drafted with the 13th pick by the Phoenix Suns and Marcus was selected with the 14th pick by the Houston Rockets.

Now that the brothers have reunited, should Kansas and Suns fans expect to see the same level of dominance that the twins showed in college?

Born about seven minutes apart, with Markieff coming into the world first, the twins have remained close in brotherhood and playing time on the court throughout their careers. That time span has widened as Markieff, #11,  is currently a starter for the Suns while Marcus, #15, on the other hand, hasn’t seen nearly as much playing time for the Suns and didn’t even play against the Jazz on Wednesday night.

No matter how much each brother plays, one thing remains undisputed. The brothers make up the 10th brother teammate combination that the NBA has seen. In fact, brotherly love as teammates isn’t foreign to the Suns as Phoenix was home to Dick and Tom Van Arsdale in the 1976-77 season.

Last month when Markieff found out that he’d be playing with his brother in the NBA he became ecstatic. Markieff told a USA Today reporter, “I’m super excited, It can’t get no better for me. This is what I definitely wanted from the beginning, to be the same as college. I’m just excited to be able to play with him again. Honestly, all of this has been a dream to me. God is blessing it to be better and better for me and him.”

Markieff ended the night in Utah with 10 points, six rebounds, two steals, two blocks and three assists. Not a bad contribution for the older twin who now must console his little brother and perhaps help to pull out some slivers from riding the pine Wednesday night.

If the Morris twins want to cause problems for the Jazz in the future, they’d better start learning from Luis Scola in practice. He’s gained a reputation among Jazz fans as  someone who has consistently caused problems for the Jazz in the past, commented on how difficult it can be to play at Energy Solutions Arena. Here’s the post game interview.

Stay faithful Jazz Nation. Follow me on Twitter @utjazznation

By Bobby Macey. See my article published on DeseretNews.com

Jrue took a “Holiday” in Utah. At least that’s how it appeared when the Philadelphia 76ers (27-42) played the Utah Jazz (34-36) on Monday night. The Jazz soared passed the Sixers with a 107-91 win in the battle of the ninth seeds.

The third year pro out of UCLA didn’t show All-Star status at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City. In fact, it was hard to believe he’s the same guy who had a monster left handed dunk in the 2013 All-Star Game that fueled the East in the middle of the second quarter. Check out that dunk now.


Holiday, along with the rest of the 76ers starters, was benched after just a few minutes of play in the first quarter when the Jazz got off to a quick lead. The Jazz held the All-Star to a scoreless first quarter and took advantage of the lackadaisical defense from the 76ers.

In his previous 10 games Holiday has averaged 39.3 minutes per game and 15.9 points. After playing just over four minutes in the first quarter, Holiday only saw 20 more minutes the rest of the game.

Over the course of the 2012-2013 season, Holiday has averaged All-Star numbers with 18.6 points per game, 8.7 assists per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, and 38.6 minutes per game.

The Jazz held him to just seven points, one rebound, one assist, and merely 24 minutes of play in their 107-91 win Monday night.  Such a performance makes 76ers fans and Holiday fans in general wonder if the All-Star has given up on the season.

The 76ers fell to 27-43 while the Jazz improved to just under .500 with a record of 35-36, both teams ranking ninth in conference standings for the East and West and currently out of the playoff run.

The Jazz ultimately got to the hoop when they wanted to and had their way with the 76ers. Gordon Hayward contributed with 15 points.

Gordon Hayward

Here is a post game interview with Tyrone Corbin, the head coach for the Jazz.

Stay faithful Jazz Nation.

Follow me on Twitter @utjazznation

My blog posts may seem a bit different in upcoming months and I’ll tell you why. I started a new job at Deseret Digital Media and have made some friends while there that produce content for DeseretNews.com and the sports section. Through these valued connections, I’ll now have the opportunity to attend some Jazz games as a reporter.

Utah Jazz Media Pass

First time as a member of the press.

So now, instead of blogging merely about the games, I’ll be blogging about the experience of having a media pass and attending the games as a member of the press. I started off the night on row 26 of the lower bowl where other writers and media folk sit, I spent a lot of time tweeting from my blog handle @utjazznation (that link means you should follow me) and I take notes and analyze some statistics for the game. All of this helps spur ideas for post game interview questions with the coaches and players from both teams. That’s the essence of me going to the game – to get the post game interviews.

Utah Jazz game seats

Several media members sit here during the games (iPhone pic – no zoom)

I hold the microphone for the videographer and am responsible for coming up with and asking the questions to coaches or players. Let me say this, it’s a full on battle amongst reporters when interviewing a player and/or coach. You have to be prepared and quick with the draw. I think that before the next game I attend, I’ll do some visualization exercises before, imaging that I’m in the Wild Wild West and going up against someone like the lizard from the movie Rango. Oh wait, that movie was terrible, perhaps then, I’ll have to imagine I’m up against Billy the Kid or someone of his caliber and reputation. The bottom line: you have to be quick and prepared to get your questions answered.

If you want to know more about the excited game, I recommend you visit my Twitter page and these articles. Utah Jazz Instant Analysis, Jazz Avenge Themselves in OT, and Utah Jazz Hustle Pays Off in OT.

I did the voice over with this clip and it was a blast. Voice overs are tricky if you don’t have a lot of experience. Most of my experience comes from podcasts so I’ll be working more to make the voice over video clips a bit more appealing for those who see them.

 

I asked the first two questions to Gordon Hayward. The first question, “How does this win compare to others this season considering Indiana is your home state?”

 

We also interviewed Big Al Jefferson, who had 25 points in Jazz win over the Pacers.

Overall, the game was nothing less than sensational and it was great to see the Jazz come up with the win. And yes, Big Al did give me a fist bump as he was leaving the locker room. He also gave a female usher a fist bump and signed autographs for fans as he left the locker room. He was good spirited and happy about the win.

Stay faithful Jazz Nation

Until next time, Bobby Macey

 

Mo Williams Game Winning Shot

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Game Recaps

Mo Williams Hits the Game Winning Shot Against the San Antonio Spurs

Who wasn’t impressed with the way the Jazz defended the Spurs on Wednesday night? The Utah Jazz defended their home court well when Mo Williams hit a clutch, yes, nothing less of clutch, game winning shot. It was a deep three and he had a hand in his face.

I know what many Jazz fans were thinking, “Well, Harris sure didn’t do that for us!” Mo, we are glad to have you back.

Here’s a link to the recap and final shot. http://www.nba.com/video/games/lakers/2012/12/09/0021200297-uta-lal-recap.nba/index.html

Follow me on Twitter @Bobmacey and @utjazznation.

Stay faithful Jazz Nation.

By Hayden Coombs

Could Cook Backup Mo Williams?

The Utah Jazz are a young team with a bright future. They possess young talent at almost every position. They 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 Marshal. 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 even 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.