Cooper Flagg predicted what would prevent Duke basketball from reaching Final Four

The future Blue Devil knows what he has to do to get the program over the hump

Apr 1, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Future Duke basketball forward Cooper Flagg speaks during a
Apr 1, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Future Duke basketball forward Cooper Flagg speaks during a / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Many people had an idea what was plaguing the Duke basketball team this season; toughness.

It was even noticeable when Cooper Flagg, the top ranked incoming freshman, watched the Blue Devils.

"They have the skill, they have the talent. There's so much talent on that team," Flagg told the League Ready Podcast last week.

"It's just going to come down to being physical and tough at the end of the day."

The Blue Devils would defeat Vermont, James Madison, and Houston in the NCAA Tournament before falling to NC State, the team that eliminated Duke in the ACC Tournament, in the Elite 8.

"Throughout the season, we've seen it a couple times with them. They just have to be a little more tough. Just show a little more just wanting it," Flagg continued.

"Just a little more toughness, physicality, and I think we will be alright, because we have the skill, we have the talent. As long as we play hard and give 100-percent effort, and physicality, and just be a little bit tougher, I think it will be really hard to beat us."

It certainly is eye-opening that Flagg was noticing that from afar and saying it publicly. Given the way that he has played throughout his high school career, being tough or physical will not be questioned next season.

The 6-foot-9 forward did say that he predicted Duke to win the National Championship while filling out his bracket.

It's been a busy week for Cooper Flagg as he spent the weekend in Houston for the McDonald's All-American Game and then traveled to Indianapolis for Chipotle Nationals where he will look to lead undefeated Montverde Academy (Fla.) to another National Championship.

Flagg is also scheduled to participate in the Nike Hoops Summit and Jordan Brand Classic later this month.