Duke basketball will not unretire legend's jersey for Cooper Flagg to wear

The Blue Devils announced the uniform numbers for its rookie class
Apr 2, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Duke basketball signee Cooper Flagg
Apr 2, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Duke basketball signee Cooper Flagg / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

If you were looking for news late on a Friday night, the Duke basketball program was there to provide it after announcing the uniform numbers for its freshmen class.

The unveiling had some surprises, most notably that Christian Laettner's No. 32 jersey would not be put back into rotation for Cooper Flagg to wear this season. Instead, the highly decorated prospect will wear No. 2.

There was a thought that Flagg, or Duke, would ask Laettner if he could dawn the jersey for his only season in Durham, similar to what the program did for Marvin Bagley III with Danny Ferry's No. 35. However, it was not an option to put the number of one of the best Blue Devils ever back on the court.

Flagg has worn No. 32 throughout his career, both at the high school and AAU levels.

Duke is also taking advantage of a new rule passed by the NCAA that allows players to wear uniform numbers with 6, 7, 8, or 9 as the first or second digit on the jersey. No player on the roster took advantage of the rule last season but the freshmen will be the first in the program to wear the unique numbers.

Kon Knueppel will wear No. 7, Darren Harris is going to sport the No. 8 jersey, and Khaman Maluach will be No. 9.

McDonald's All-American, and North Carolina native, Isaiah Evans is going to wear No. 3 while Patrick Ngongba II will be No. 21.

Uniform numbers for Duke's transfer class made up of Syracuse's Maliq Brown, Purdue's Mason Gillis, Tulane's Sion James, and Rice's Cameron Sheffield have not been made public.

The Blue Devils will be relying on its two returners, Tyrese Proctor and Caleb Foster, to shoulder the bulk of the load early in the season as the newcombers become comfortable in the program.