Coach K On Top-Ranked (2024) Duke Commitment:
“He’s Tough To Describe Because He Does Everything Well”

By David Glenn
North Carolina Sports Network

Cooper Flagg, the top-ranked senior in high school basketball and the projected #1 overall selection in the 2025 NBA draft, committed to Duke on Monday.

Because NCAA rules don’t allow its schools or its college coaches to comment publicly on committed (but still unsigned) players, and the NCAA’s early signing period for men’s basketball (Nov. 8-15) hasn’t arrived, Duke can’t officially announce Flagg’s commitment yet, and the Blue Devils’ current coaches can’t publicly comment about his pledge.

Nevertheless, Duke’s official Twitter/X account, @DukeMBB, creatively communicated the program’s excitement about Flagg’s selection of the Blue Devils on Monday morning, within hours of the player’s public announcement, with a photo of a confident, grinning, stylish head coach Jon Scheyer seemingly headed home after a job well-done.

On Wednesday afternoon, legendary former Duke (1980-2022) and USA Basketball (2005-16) head coach Mike Krzyzewski did make public comments about Flagg, who has represented Team USA’s under-17 team since last summer. It may be an understatement to say that Coach K’s comments were glowing.

In an interview with Tom Kirkland of the Olympic Channel, Coach K was asked if Flagg might end up being a one-and-done player at Duke.

“Yeah,” Krzyzewski replied. “If it was earlier, he’d be done.”

Coach K was referring to earlier times in NBA history (especially 1995-2005), when the league’s draft rules allowed high school seniors the option of going straight to the professional ranks.

“He’s just that good,” Krzyzewski said. “He’s tough to describe because he does everything well. He reminds me, defensively, of one of the great international defensive players, (former Russia/NBA star Andrei) Kirilenko. But offensively, he can really pass … there’s not an aspect of the game that he can’t do.

“But then you add spirit and competitiveness, at the highest level. Then, all those things that you do well … you know what? You do them really well. I’m anxious to have him here at Duke.”

(Note: The Twitter/X link with the video of Coach K’s comments, initially posted @tksportstweets, is no longer posted.)

A 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward, Flagg is originally from Maine. He received his first college scholarship offer as an eighth-grader. The following year, he became the first high school freshman ever to receive Maine’s Gatorade Player of the Year honor, after averaging 20.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 3.7 steals and 3.7 blocks per game and leading his team to the Class A state championship.

Flagg, who will turn 17 years old in December, transferred before his sophomore season to Montverde Academy, a private school in Florida with an elite basketball program that routinely attracts top prospects from around the United States and the world. Flagg’s twin brother, Ace, is a 6-7, 190-pound junior forward for Montverde.

Originally expected to enroll in college for the 2025-26 season, Cooper Flagg reclassified to the Class of 2024 this summer, meaning that he will arrive at Duke for the 2024-25 season. He considered scholarship offers from Connecticut (a four-hour drive from his Maine home), Kansas, Texas, UCLA, Villanova and many others before ultimately picking the Blue Devils over UConn.