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Cooper Flagg Commits To The Duke Blue Devils

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Cooper Flagg Commits To The Duke Blue Devils

The most anticipated 2024 class commitment finally materialised on Monday when Cooper Flagg, the top high school basketball talent and clear favourite to be the first choice in the 2025 NBA draught, chose Duke over UConn. For the majority of his recruitment, the Blue Devils were thought to be Flagg’s likely destination; but, the Huskies made a strong push and significantly narrowed the distance until Duke ultimately won him over during his most recent visit to Durham.

During a spectacular summer that included victories at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in July and the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Orlando, Florida in late June and July, Flagg solidified his status as the top player regardless of class. In August, Flagg revealed he was reclassifying into the 2024 class, which put him in line to be the top NBA pick in 20 months. At the time, he was competing with Cameron Boozer for the top slot in the 2025 class.

With his accomplishments with Maine United on the lower levels of the game, Flagg has elevated his teammates, and he has also proved that he can blend in well with other top prospects at Montverde Academy (Florida). Although the latter is more likely to occur at Duke, Flagg is a phenomenal player who will get the greatest attention in college basketball as soon as he sets foot on campus. The meaning of everything is dissected by Jeff Borzello, Myron Medcalf, Paul Biancardi, and John Gasaway.

How well suited are Flagg and Duke to one another?

One may persuasively argue that Duke and Mike Krzyzewski were instrumental in bringing positionless basketball to the university ranks. Coach K had a 6-foot-11 star in Christian Laettner in the early 1990s who made forty-nine percent of his 3-point shots during a period when players of that size primarily played around the rim. Similar to LeBron James, Grant Hill was a 6-8 point forward in the early 1990s before James changed the game. The 2001 Wooden Award winner Shane Battier is capable of guarding all five spots.

During the 2017–18 season, Marvin Bagley averaged 11.1 RPG and made 40% of his 3-point tries, which is an uncommon combination for a 6–11 player. The next season, All-American tight end-caliber player Zion Williamson did whatever he pleased on the floor and never held a legitimate position.

Flagg is going to be Duke men’s basketball’s next multifaceted star. His history with the team makes him an ideal fit. A variety of players with a wide range of skill sets have been able to utilise every feature of the programme. Flagg won’t be held back by Jon Scheyer, who was Williamson’s assistant at Duke when he earned the Wooden Award in 2019.

He’ll let him play anywhere he wants to, including above the rim, on the outside, in transition, and in space.

Flagg is designed for the Duke system, and vice versa. He recently made a commitment to a university that has a proven track record of refusing to categorise players like him. — Medcalf, Myron.

How will Flagg’s inclusion impact the Blue Devils’ roster for the upcoming campaign?
Regardless of who plays next to him, Flagg’s commitment provides Scheyer with the most talented player in the country, making him an anchor to grow around. The 2024–25 roster is probably not going to be finalised for another seven months. In addition to guard Darren Sharpe, the Blue Devils already possessed two top-25 prospects in Isaiah Evans and Kon Knueppel.

Conversely, ESPN projects that four of these players will be selected in the first 31 choices in the 2024 NBA draught. Thus, the crucial query is actually: Who else does Flagg get to play with in Durham? During Countdown to Craziness with Flagg, top-five prospect V.J. Edgecombe and five-star big man Pat Ngongba visited Duke; can Flagg’s dedication force either of them to choose the Blue Devils? Though there are still many dominoes to fall, any roster that includes Flagg has a shot to be very memorable. — Borzello Jeff

Flagg selected Duke instead of UConn. What’s next in terms of recruitment for the Huskies?

In this recruitment competition, UConn was realistically aware that it was trailing behind. But with someone like Flagg, there really isn’t a backup plan.

In their 2024 class, the Huskies currently have two extremely solid commitments: ESPN 100 forward Isaiah Abraham and ESPN 100 Ahmad Nowell. They might still use a bigger perimeter scorer, though. While Jayden Ross, Jaylin Stewart, Solomon Ball, and Nowell are all promising recruits, freshmen Stephon Castle is probably a one-and-done. The arrival of Abraham and Nowell should also be helpful.

However, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Dan Hurley open the portal for one more player the following spring, whether it’s a point guard, another shot maker, or even a large perimeter wing with the same drive and facilitation skills as Castle. This would be similar to how the Huskies acquired Rutgers’ Cam Spencer in the spring when they needed an experienced shooter. The Biancardi, Paul

How do the early Scheyer recruitment results compare to the latter part of Coach K’s tenure, with Flagg included?

This unexpectedly smooth talent transition from the Coach K era must impress Duke athletic director Nina King. The most recent and possibly best illustration of this dynamic is Flagg.

When considering only recruiting rankings, Coach K’s class of last year at Duke (Dereck Lively II, Dariq Whitehead, Kyle Filipowski, Mark Mitchell, and Jaden Schutt) was statistically comparable to what was being done at the height of the Blue Devils’ one-and-done era in the mid-2010s. Caleb Foster, TJ Power, Sean Stewart, and Jared McCain represent this year’s class, which maintains that aesthetic. Flagg is now en route.

Does high school recruiting success of this calibre signify as much in the transfer portal era as it did ten years ago? Although times change, it will always be encouraging to sign the top recruit in the country. Cooper Flagg has it for Scheyer.

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