A national sportswriter doesn’t see Cooper Flagg landing with the Duke basketball program.
The Duke basketball program has always been perceived as the favorite to land Cooper Flagg but there has been some serious chatter — and perhaps momentum — geared towards the UConn Huskies in the last few weeks.
Flagg visited the defending National Champions last month and cut his list of finalists to two options after canceling his visit to Kansas in early October.
Now, a decision is nearing for the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2024 after he takes his official visit to Duke this weekend for the program’s Countdown to Craziness but one national sportswriter doesn’t envision more trips to Durham in the Maine native’s future.
Frank Isola, a longtime New York sportswriter and current Sirius XM, ESPN, and YES Network basketball broadcaster, surprisingly gave his insights on the recruitment of Cooper Flagg during Monday’s preseason matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.
“One of the best players in the country right now — the No. 1 high school recruit — Cooper Flagg goes to Montverde Academy (Fla.), actually reclassified so he can be a senior this year,” Isola explained.
“Looks like he has it narrowed down to Duke and UConn…very good player.”
Flagg’s only unofficial visit to a school came in early August when he visited the Blue Devils just prior to his announcement of reclassification from a 2025 prospect to a 2024 recruit.
The 6-foot-9 forward has said in previous interviews that Duke has been his dream school and has modeled his game after former Blue Devils such as Jayson Tatum and Grayson.
“I’m going to make a prediction,” Isola said. “He’s going to play for Danny Hurley and UConn.”
“If I’m wrong don’t hold me to that. Just something I heard,” he added.
Duke basketball could be concerned about bold prediction
Frank Isola’s prediction definitely opened many eyes on social media and also holds weight as he hosts his Sirius XM show on NBA Radio with Brian Scalabrine, who has been a major figure in Cooper Flagg’s basketball journey.
Scalabrine has worked out Flagg and his brother, Ace, when the two were still playing high school basketball in Maine and has maintained a close relationship despite the transition to the high school basketball powerhouse program.
Most recently, Scalabrine shared a story that Cooper Flagg beat NBA All-Star Bradley Beal in a 1-on-1 game at Jayson Tatum’s camp this summer and Beal got angry at Flagg and the two started started talking a lot of trash at each other.
Flagg denied the story shortly after at Steph Curry’s annual camp.
All eight Crystal Ball Predictions for Flagg on 247Sports remain logged for Duke as well as five FutureCast’s on Rivals. The On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine gives the Blue Devils a 95-percent chance at landing Flagg.
Nevertheless, Frank Isola’s bold comments are certainly something to monitor with Cooper Flagg returning to Duke’s campus on Friday.