Friday, July 12, 2024

Duke Basketball: Cooper Flagg ‘Completely Fearless’ Versus Team USA

Must read

Cooper Flagg mania isn’t even in full effect just yet. And the 17-year-old Duke basketball freshman forward is already a viral sensation, rivaling the hype that surrounded eventual No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson upon his arrival in Durham six years ago.

RELATED: Duke Rookie Earns More Respect From LeBron James

The 6-foot-9, 205-pound phenom can’t help but attract all the headlines. Flagg, No. 1 overall on the 247Sports 2024 Composite, is simply an advanced talent with go-go-gadget arms and insane instincts on both ends of the floor who now fills Blue Devil fans’ summer days with goosebumps galore by showcasing his full repertoire against many of the best hoopsters on the planet.

Flagg, the pride of Maine and highlight of Duke’s top-ranked rookie class, is the only collegian on the USA Basketball Select Team in Las Vegas. He’s teammates there with promising young pros training alongside the USA Basketball National Team, including 2016-17 Duke basketball one-and-done forward and Boston Celtics champion Jayson Tatum, as Team USA gears up for the upcoming 2024 Olympic Summer Games in Paris.

Although Flagg impressed the likes of LeBron James on Day 1 of action between the squads, the eye-catching feats paled in comparison to his full-court prowess at times during a scrimmage on Monday.

In powering the Select Team to within two points of a serious wake-up call to Team USA, which managed to escape with a 74-73 win, Flagg put together an unreal highlight reel in light of his age and the level of his opponents.

One sequence stands out as utterly brilliant. After splashing a three over Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis, Flagg hustled back in transition to ensure Davis didn’t get an easy bucket on the other end, delivered an outlet pass for a Select Team 3-point attempt, and raced the length of the floor to get the and-one putback score when that shot missed:

Here are 70 seconds of highlights from the projected 2024-25 Duke basketball centerpiece’s first few days in Las Vegas, beginning with the same sequence as above (because it’s undoubtedly well-deserving of another look):

And here’s a 16-minute video showing what appears to be every score from both sides in the scrimmage:

Afterward, The Field of 68’s Jeff Goodman issued the following reminder on social media with regard to the young Blue Devil, who was initially a 2025 recruit before reclassifying and signing with Duke back in the fall:

“Let’s also remember: Cooper Flagg is still just 17 years old. Doesn’t turn 18 until December 21. One coach in attendance today said he was ‘completely fearless’ going against the NBA’s top players.”

More Duke Basketball News

Latest article