Jeff Borzello, ESPN Employees AuthorOct 30, 2023, 08:39 AM ET
- Basketball recruiting insider.
- Joined ESPN in 2014.
- Graduate of College of Delaware.
Cooper Flagg, the highest prospect in highschool basketball and the favourite to be the No. 1 decide within the 2025 NBA draft, introduced his dedication to Duke on Monday.
Flagg selected the Blue Devils over UConn.
Duke was seen because the overwhelming favourite because the early days of Flagg’s recruitment. Coach Jon Scheyer made his presence felt at Flagg’s video games, even when Flagg was enjoying on the 15U Nike EYBL circuit, and continued to be a staple at his video games final spring. Coaches from UConn, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan additionally hung out watching him this previous summer time.
Three colleges emerged for Flagg: Duke, UConn and Kansas. He took an official go to to Storrs, Connecticut, in late September, because the Huskies continued to shut the hole. Shortly after, Flagg canceled a scheduled go to to Kansas, leaving simply the Blue Devils and the Huskies. However a second go to to Duke, for the Blue Devils’ Countdown to Craziness occasion final weekend, firmly shifted the momentum again towards Scheyer and the Blue Devils.
“After I acquired on campus, I actually began to check myself in Durham,” Flagg advised SLAM in his dedication video. “All of the love I felt made me actually excited, seeing all of the Crazies and the environment in Cameron. I am honored that I’ve the chance to hitch the brotherhood.”
In August, Flagg introduced he was reclassifying from the 2025 class to 2024 and deliberate to enter school subsequent fall. He’ll flip 18 in December of his freshman 12 months, making him eligible for the 2025 NBA draft.
Flagg, a 6-foot-8 ahead from Maine, cemented himself because the premier prospect within the nation with a protracted stretch of productive outings in June and July. He entered the summer time ranked No. 2 within the 2025 class behind Cameron Boozer, however he earned MVP honors on the Nationwide Basketball Gamers Affiliation High 100 Camp in Orlando, Florida, in late June, after which placed on a virtuoso efficiency on the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in July.
In one of the constantly dominant showings within the occasion’s historical past, Flagg averaged 25.4 factors, 13 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 6.9 blocks on the Peach Jam. He had a double-double in all seven video games, together with three triple-doubles. He put up 38 factors, 16 rebounds, 6 assists and 12 blocks towards Professional Expertise and 37 factors, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 10 blocks towards New Heights Lightning.
General, Flagg averaged 26.8 factors, 12.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 5.2 blocks and shot 37.4% from 3-point vary in 22 video games with Maine United final spring and summer time.
After main Nokomis Regional Excessive Faculty (Maine) to a state title as a highschool freshman, Flagg transferred to Montverde Academy (Florida) to play for legendary highschool coach Kevin Boyle. He performed in 25 video games final season, placing up 9.8 factors, 5.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and a pair of.2 blocks in just below 18 minutes per sport.
He is taking up a much bigger position offensively for Montverde this season, averaging 19.0 factors, 8.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in three video games on the Border League in Las Vegas earlier this month.
Flagg represented USA Basketball on the FIBA U17 World Cup in 2022 at simply 15 years outdated, serving to lead it to the gold medal. He averaged 9.3 factors, 10.0 rebounds and a team-high 2.4 steals and a pair of.9 blocks in seven video games, together with a 10-point, 17-rebound, eight-steal, four-block efficiency within the closing towards Spain. The 17 rebounds had been a single-game file for the lads’s U17 staff. He was named USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the 12 months in December 2022.
“Flagg is simply completely different,” an NBA scout advised ESPN over the summer time. “He has the psychological make-up. He is constant along with his mindset, motor and manufacturing. If he does not develop an oz of his offensive package deal from today ahead, he is nonetheless doubtlessly within the operating for a defensive participant of the 12 months on the NBA stage. Simply the progressions that he is proven with the live-ball playmaking, shot-creating off the bounce, instinctive reads and performs on each ends after which how he carries himself … he has an opportunity to be a transformational basketball participant within the sport as a complete.”
“Cooper Flagg is what a modern-day wing seems to be like within the NBA,” one school coach added. “Lengthy, athletic, versatile and may dribble, go and shoot. I feel the depth and competitiveness he performs with will translate actually clean to the following stage.”
Flagg’s dedication instantly makes Duke the favourite to land the No. 1 recruiting class within the nation. The Blue Devils already had five-star wing Isaiah Evans (No. 8) and top-50 guards Kon Knueppel (No. 22) and Darren Harris (No. 45) within the fold, and stay in pursuit of five-star prospects V.J. Edgecombe (No. 5) and Pat Ngongba (No. 19). All three commits and Edgecombe and Ngongba visited Duke for Countdown to Craziness alongside Flagg two weekends in the past.
Scheyer landed the No. 1 and No. 2 recruiting lessons in his first two cycles since being named Mike Krzyzewski’s successor.