Duke basketball recruiting: Blue Devils eyeing freshman phenom

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball may soon play “Capture the Flagg” in the recruiting arena.

Two weekends ago, during the first of April’s two NCAA evaluation periods, Maine United E15 traveled to Orlando and became the first team from its state to play on the Nike EYBL circuit. The newcomers went 4-0 across the weekend of action, largely thanks to the dazzling play of potential Duke basketball recruiting target Cooper Flagg.

When gaping at the mixtape below, consider that Flagg is fresh off his freshman season in high school.

Given his premier talent and bounce for a 15-year-old, it’s no surprise that the 6-foot-8, 195-pound small forward — with loads of guard-like abilities — caught the attention of Blue Devil head coach Jon Scheyer.

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According to a tweet from On3 recruiting insider Joe Tipton, coaches from Duke and fellow recruiting powerhouse Kentucky were there to watch Flagg, who could go down as the best Maine hoops prospect in history:

Moving to a Duke basketball-friendly school

Cooper Flagg, who saw UCLA enter the growing fray for his services this week via an early offer, recently announced his transfer to juggernaut Montverde Academy (Fla.).

Remember that Montverde has recently produced two top-shelf Blue Devils: current New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett and the reigning McDonald’s All-American Game MVP in incoming Duke freshman forward Dariq Whitehead.

Last season, Flagg led Nokomis Regional (Maine) to a 21-1 record and its first boys’ basketball state championship. He averaged 20.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 3.7 steals, and 3.7 blocks per game.

Again, he did all that as a mere freshman.

Here’s what Joe Tipton noted about Cooper Flagg following his sensational performances as one of 46 top preps at the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team minicamp in New Orleans earlier this month:

“Learn the name, Cooper Flagg. Man, oh man, this kid is going to be special.”

Tipton continued:

“Only a freshman, Flagg has an advanced skill set for his age. He has a quiet demeanor, but his game speaks volumes…Flagg has a silky smooth, fluid game. He has beautiful shot mechanics for his age, not to mention shot-making ability…He will need to add strength, but Flagg is one of my early favorites in the 2025 class.”

The Blue Devils have not yet handed out any 2025 offers.

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