Flagg, the most-prized recruit in the nation among Class of 2024 prospects, announced his commitment to the Blue Devils on Monday morning through SLAM magazine.
“My college decision wasn’t an easy one at all,” Flagg said in a video posted by SLAM on social media.
“Ultimately, it ended up coming down to UConn and Duke – two historic programs known for their prestigious reputations and winning cultures. With that being said, I’ve decided to attend Duke University next year. After I had gone on campus, I really started to envision myself in Durham. All the love I felt made me really excited. Seeing all the Crazies and the atmosphere in Cameron, I’m honored that I have the opportunity to join the Brotherhood. Let’s go Duke.”
The cover of the latest SLAM magazine features Flagg in a Duke jersey and reads: “COOPER FLAGG PLEDGES ALLEGIANCE TO THE BROTHERHOOD.”
He was at the top of the Blue Devils’ wish list. The 6-foot-8, 195-pound wing from Montverde Academy is the favorite to be the top pick in the 2025 NBA Draft and projects to be a do-everything star.
Shortly after Flagg’s commitment, Duke men’s basketball released a post on X (formerly Twitter) that said: “PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE.”
ACC BASKETBALL PREDICTIONS: ACC basketball predictions: Where will Duke basketball, UNC finish in the standings?
FIRST LOOK AT DUKE: Duke basketball observations from Blue Devils’ scrimmage
Flagg, 16, had an unofficial visit to Durham in August before making a trip to UConn in late September and wrapping up his visits with an official trip to Duke for Countdown to Craziness on Oct. 20.
With Flagg’s commitment, Duke has the top-ranked class in the nation for 2024. Darren Harris, Isaiah Evans and Kon Knueppel are also set to join the Blue Devils as freshmen next season. Those three players are considered sharpshooters, making them a perfect fit to surround Flagg.
In addition to Flagg, fellow 2024 recruits Patrick Ngongba and VJ Edgecombe were on official visits at Duke earlier this month. The early signing period is Nov. 8-15.
Scouting report on what Cooper Flagg brings to Duke basketball
Cooper Flagg is a two-way force as a scorer and elite defender, with the potential to instantly become one of the top players in the world. The Maine native will be the centerpiece of head coach Jon Scheyer’s third team at Duke.
Flagg’s size and skill make him a top target for NBA squads. He has often been compared to Andrei Kirilenko and Scottie Pippen, a pair of former NBA All-Stars.
The latest player from Montverde Academy to pick Duke, Flagg joins a list that includes Barrett, Dariq Whitehead and current freshman Sean Stewart.
Flagg was named the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year in 2022 after leading Team USA’s U17 team to a gold-medal finish in the FIBA World Cup. He led that team in blocks, rebounds and steals.
In early July, Flagg averaged 25.4 points, 13 rebounds, 6.8 blocks and 5.7 assists per game at the famed Peach Jam tournament.
With sophomore Kyle Filipowski likely to enter the 2024 NBA Draft, Flagg’s arrival could provide a seamless transition for Scheyer and the Blue Devils.
Following Cooper Flagg’s commitment, what’s next for Duke coach Jon Scheyer and the Blue Devils?
As referenced above, Flagg wasn’t the only recruit to visit Duke during the Blue Devils’ Countdown to Craziness.
Ngongba, a center and top-20 player in the Class of 2024, also joined the Cameron Crazies and soaked in the full Duke basketball experience that weekend. Following Flory Bidunga’s commitment to Kansas in August, Ngongba became Duke’s top target in the frontcourt.
Kansas State and Kentucky are also in the mix to land Ngongba, but he plays at a school in Virginia (Paul VI) that produced Duke players Trevor Keels and current captain Jeremy Roach.
Edgecombe, another top-10 recruit as a wing from New York, also made the trip to Durham in late October for an official visit. The 2022-23 MaxPreps New York High School Basketball Player of the Year averaged 15.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game last season and led his team to a state title.
As for guards, second-ranked recruit Dylan Harper still remains in play for the Blue Devils as a top target.
According to recruiting services, Rutgers is considered the favorite to land the 6-foot-5 guard from New Jersey. Harper averaged 21.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game at Peach Jam and joined Flagg at Steph Curry’s camp in August.
Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @RoddBaxley on X/Twitter.
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: What Cooper Flagg brings to Duke basketball as top-ranked recruit