College Hoops

Pressure is on! Cooper Flagg already being hailed as college basketball’s best player, top 2025 NBA Draft pick

Pressure is on! Cooper Flagg already being hailed as college basketball's best player, top 2025 NBA Draft pick

Cooper Flagg‘s high school career spanned two states on the opposite ends of the Eastern Seaboard and it was nothing short of spectacular. 

Yet, as of today, it means nothing since the biggest year of Flagg’s basketball life is quickly approaching. 

To say that the No. 1 player in the 2024 national recruiting class “still has a lot to prove” would be a ridiculous statement under normal circumstances. But, Cooper Flagg isn’t normal.

The 6-foot-9, 195-pound forward has been billed as a generational talent since his high school career began. He’s dominated in Maine, Florida and everywhere in between. He’s considered a one-in-a-lifetime athlete. 

Don’t believe me? Well, just take a look at Duke’s current roster reformation. 

The Blue Blood Blue Devils are no stranger to big commitments and No. 1 recruiting classes. Just in recent memory, we can rattle off several highly-touted high school players like who dominated at Duke before becoming NBA lottery picks: Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson, Paolo Banchero, Brandon Ingram, RJ Barrett, Marvin Bagley Jr., Jabari Parker. The list goes on.

None have created the commotion that Flagg has. 

Flagg’s commitment to Duke ripped through Cameron Indoor Stadium like a coastal Carolina wind, clearing the way for his arrival. Many members of the “The Brotherhood” were forced to face the music — a seemingly unstoppable force is descending on Duke and it needs space to land. Seven players from Duke’s 2024 Elite Eight team, including promising forwards Mark Mitchell and Sean Stewart, entered the transfer portal. While the surface-level reasons may have varied, the root cause of their exit is Flagg. A player of his magnitude needs a team to be built around him and everyone on the roster has to buy into this concept.

In return, new portal finds like sharpshooter Mason Gillis from Purdue can space the floor for Flagg. Maliq Brown from Syracuse is expected to be shot in the arm for Duke as a gritty, two-way player who can form a frontcourt wall on defense with Flagg. Rising sophomore Caleb Foster will be thrust into the spotlight as one of Duke’s few returning pieces along with Tyrese Proctor, who decided to forgo the NBA Draft and lean into what’s happening in Durham.

As Jon Scheyer and the Blue Devils staff cobble together a roster that complements Flagg, the ante has been upped. His one year in Durham will be a prove-it campaign. Duke has…

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