Duke basketball: Dylan Harper claims he should be No. 1 prospect over Cooper Flagg

The former Blue Devil recruit has been impressive during the All-American circut
Apr 2, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; McDonald's All American West guard Dylan Harper (2) and Duke basketball signee Cooper Flagg
Apr 2, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; McDonald's All American West guard Dylan Harper (2) and Duke basketball signee Cooper Flagg / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

High school All-American Games are like appetizers. It's just a small preview of what's to come next season in college but Dylan Harper, a former Duke basketball recruit, didn't hold anything back over the last three weeks, sending a message to the country.

Harper was the best player on the floor in Sunday's Jordan Brand Classic, the final game of the recent slew of high school showcases, scoring 30 points -- including the game winning shot in an Elam Ending.

The aftermath of Harper's fourth quarter was culminated by a declaration of, "I'm number one," as he paraded around the Barclays Center, mobbed by his teammates, signifying that he should be the top ranked recruit in the country.

Harper, currently ranked No. 3 in the 247Sports Composite rankings, sits behind future Blue Devil Cooper Flagg and his Rutgers teammate Ace Bailey, respectively. He out-dueled Flagg in what was very heated and competitive for a showcase game.

A string of three consecutive 3-pointers for Harper, one which came over Flagg, brought the crowd to its feet late in the second half. He was named as the Most Valuable Player of the event, adding to his MVP from the McDonald's All-American Game.

Flagg, who was dominant for his own team, finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Dylan Harper was the No. 1 player in the Class of 2024 prior to Flagg's reclassification from 2025. The Montverde Academy (Fla.) superstar immediately became the consensus top player as Bailey slid into the No. 2 spot in January. It could change when the final rankings are unveiled in May.

Harper was also considered a favorite to become a Blue Devil early in his recruitment until Duke focused its attention on other guards and wings in the class, in addition to Cooper Flagg last summer.

Rutgers, despite having two of the top three players in the class, has the No. 3 recruiting class in the country, trailing Duke and Arizona.

While the two appear to be friendly off the court, there's a clear rivalry when they step between the lines and it would be great for the game if Duke and Rutgers could find a way to schedule a non-conference matchup next season at Madison Square Garden.

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