Duke basketball: Dan Hurley takes subtle shot after Cooper Flagg decision

UConn head coach Dan Hurley talks about the Duke basketball program (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
UConn head coach Dan Hurley talks about the Duke basketball program (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

UConn head coach Dan Hurley took a subtle shot at the Duke basketball program. 

Cooper Flagg took his college decision public on Monday morning when he committed to the Duke basketball program over UConn, in what many perceived to be a formality, and Huskies head coach Dan Hurley was obviously disappointed with the announcement.

The Blue Devils were the favorites throughout his recruitment but UConn and Kansas tried to make things as difficult as possible for Duke.

Kansas did not have much success after Flagg cut them from his finalists when he canceled his official visit a week before it started, but UConn, led by Hurley, did everything possible to try and pry the No. 1 player in the Class of 2024 away from Durham.

However, it didn’t work and now Hurley is sounding a bit bitter about Flagg’s decision.

The UConn head coach, speaking at a breakfast on Monday morning, said, “We don’t win a lot of popularity contests at UConn, we just win championships.”

ALSO READ: Duke secures Cooper Flagg, the No. 1 player in the country

UConn and Duke have both won five National Championships, with the Huskies most recent title coming last April, but the Blue Devils have won 22 ACC Tournament Championships and 19 regular season title while UConn has ten conference titles — spread throughout three different leagues — in program history.

“UConn is second to no other program in college basketball,” Hurley continued. “We don’t decide who we get, but no one should be off the board, relative to whether they should be considering us.”

“We do it, right now, as good as anybody.”

Duke basketball still leading various rivals on recruiting trail

UConn currently has the No. 5 recruiting class on campus right now preparing for the college basketball season, compared to Duke’s No. 2 recruiting class, and the Blue Devils have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country in 2024 while the Huskies currently sit at No. 23.

In fact, UConn has never had a recruiting class ranked higher than Duke since Hurley took over the Huskies prior to the 2018 season.

The closest the two programs got was in 2021 when Duke was ranked No. 6 and UConn at No. 7, according to 247Sports, but the Blue Devils might’ve been too low since top recruit — and future No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick — Paolo Banchero helped lead the program to the Final Four.

Patrick Ngongba II, a 5-star recruit in which UConn thought they had a great chance at landing, cut the Huskies from his finalists as he will announce his decision on November 4 between Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas State.

ALSO READ: Duke could add to recruiting class very quickly after Cooper Flagg

“We’re blue-collar basketball, not social-media basketball,” Hurley added.

Results on the court certainly matter and Hurley winning a National Championship within his first five season at UConn is very impressive, but Jon Scheyer is off to a better start as a head coach by winning a conference championship and advancing to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament in his first season — not to mention recruiting wise as well.

Hurley missed the NCAA Tournament in his first two seasons with the Huskies and had not advanced out of the Round of 64 prior to this season’s run to the title.

And just to add to the statistics, Duke has one of the best social media teams in the country with 1.3 million followers on Instagram and 2.1 million on X — formerly known as Twitter — while UConn has just 113,000 on Instagram and 115,100 on X.

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