Duke basketball: Jared McCain says Cooper Flagg will be the 'best player in college'

A former Blue Devil freshman is heaping praise onto the biggest incoming rookie
2024 McDonald's All American Game; Duke basketball signee Cooper Flagg
2024 McDonald's All American Game; Duke basketball signee Cooper Flagg / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Cooper Flagg has already gathered enough attention during his high school career to last him a lifetime but there will be even more chatter about the prized incoming freshman before he puts on a Duke basketball jersey.

That conversation has already begun at the NBA Draft Combine when former Blue Devil Jared McCain showered the top ranked recruit while discussing the variables in Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) and the transfer portal the college level.

"The people transferring in college, they've already proven themselves at the college level," McCain told CBS Sports' Isaac Trotter. "I can see why they get more money."

McCain had a healthy NIL package at Duke, one of the biggest in college basketball, which also included endorsement money he made from being a social media sensation as well as one of the best players on the Blue Devils.

While programs are prioritizing transfers more than freshmen to build its rosters, Jared McCain thinks Duke will have the best player in the country next season, who just happens to be a rookie.

"Shoutout my guy Cooper Flagg -- I think he'll be the best player in college," he said.

There was speculation immediately after the season that McCain might remain at Duke for his sophomore season in order to play with Flagg, but the All-ACC Rookie Team member said that the idea of suiting up with the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2025 NBA Draft would not factor in to his decision.

Just a few weeks later, McCain announced that he would be forgoing the rest of his college eligibility and entering the 2024 NBA Draft. He is currently projected to be a Top-20 pick.

Flagg will be headlining the top ranked recruiting class in the country next season in Durham where he will be joined by Khaman Maluach, Isaiah Evans, Patrick Ngongba II, Darren Harris, and Kon Knueppel.

The 6-foot-8 forward has been ranked as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2024 since he announced he was reclassifying and will enter college with the most hype surrounding him since Zion Williamson.

It will be a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Cooper Flagg but all indications from Jared McCain, Jon Scheyer, and the entire Duke fanbase is that he will be ready to handle it.