Quinn Cook learned from Nolan Smith

Duke received another huge addition for next season with Quinn Cook announcing his verbal commitment on ESPNU, and the nation's fifth-ranked point guard gives the Blue Devils a fearsome backcourt for the future.

With the arrival next season of top overall recruit Austin Rivers to play shooting guard, bringing Cook into the fold means having a high-level point guard in place should Kyrie Irvine leave for the NBA draft after his freshman season.

"If he doesn’t leave, I have a chance to go against the best point guard in the nation every day in practice," Cook said, the presence of Irving not deterring him from picking Duke over North Carolina and UCLA.

But what might have put Duke over the top?

Cook's deep connection with Duke goes beyond his relationship with coach Mike Krzyzewski, as he is very close to point guard predecessor Nolan Smith.

According to Dave Telep and the Fayetteville Observer, Cook had Smith to lean on for support after his father, a family friend of Smith's, died in 2008.

The one person Quinn knew he needed to talk to was Nolan. So in the months that followed, he talked about his pain and listened to Nolan's experiences.

When Quinn cried, Nolan reminded himself to hold it together.

"I have to be strong for him," Nolan says, "let him know we're going to get through this."

When Nolan couldn't mask his own sadness, he would cry and tell Quinn that sometimes it's OK to let it all go.

Smith grew up with the pain of not having his father there and won a national championship at Duke.

Now it's Cook who will try to do the same, following in Smith's footsteps.

As Oak Hill Academy coach Steve Smith told Telep regarding Cook, "Nolan's the reason he ended up at Duke."