The impact of Cook's decision to attend Duke will be felt most significantly in Durham where he will spend possibly the next four years playing in front of the Cameron Crazies.
For Duke this means first and foremost they are getting an elite level player. Cook is a point guard who is capable of scoring and getting teammates involved at an equally high level. Along with that Cook has the athleticism and determination to play the type of in your shorts man-to-man defense that Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski demands out of his guards.
With that skill set, Cook is a commodity for any team, but it could be especially important for Duke. Due to the ascent in Kyrie Irving's game over the past year, he is now being talked about as a potential top five NBA draft pick, and a definite one and done level talent. If Irving does indeed leave Durham after only one year, only class of 2010 member Tyler Thornton would be left at the point guard position.
Duke is already coming off of a national title, is currently the near consensus pre-season favorites to win it all again this year, and now with Cook, Austin Rivers, and the rest of the talented 2011 class set to arrive in Durham, it isn't too much to think that a three-peat is possible.
Of course the actual chances of a three-peat happening are not great, but it is impressive to be able to put any team in that category in this day and age of college basketball where everything is so competitive.
While Duke is riding high about Cook's decision, all the way on the other coast of the country, UCLA is feeling a very different emotion. After struggling through a disappointing 2009-10 season, and with guards Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson, and Lazeric Jones all slated to be off campus before the start of the 2012-13 season, the Bruins knew they needed an impact point guard to bring them back to the top of college basketball.
The man that they coveted was Cook. Bruin Head Coach Ben Howland spent a significant amount of time in July following Cook on the AAU circuit, and to go along with that put in a lot of effort during the entire run of the recruitment.
However in the end Cook decided to go to Durham and it is a crushing blow for the Bruins. Going forward UCLA doesn't seem to have a pure point guard on their roster. Freshman Matt Carlino is best suited to play off the ball as a shooting guard, and 2011 commitment Norman Powell is clearly someone who will be on the wing.
Now with Cook off the board, UCLA has to do a little bit of scrambling. Brewster Academy point guard Elijah Carter is heavily considering the Bruins. He would be a fine pickup if they are able to bring him in, but his recruitment is coming down to the wire, and Carter doesn't seem to be giving out any hints as to what direction he is leaning.
History has proven that it is tough to win without a legitimate point guard who can really run the show. No one knows that better than Howland who had a great run of success with guards such as Jordan Farmar, Darren Collison, and Russell Westbrook dominating the ball. Now he is still left searching for the next player to fall in that line.
Cook is just one player at one position, but the impact of his commitment is now going to be felt greatly at two of the most historic and powerful basketball programs in the country. The smiles are wide in Durham right now while the faces are long Westwood.