Sunday, July 14, 2024

Duke basketball: Cooper Flagg nearly leads upset of Team USA at Olympic scrimmage

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The Duke basketball debut of Cooper Flagg is still nearly four months away but his stock keeps rising every time he steps on the floor.

Monday afternoon was the second straight day that Flagg and the USA Basketball Select Team scrimmaged the USA Basketball Senior Men’s National Team and the Blue Devil completely stole the show from the 12 NBA All-Stars.

Flagg hit shots over Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday while absorbing contact from Bam Adebayo on a conventional 3-point play.

His efforts nearly led to a comeback victory for the Select Team but he didn’t have the ball in his hands on the final possession, which resulted in Davis blocking Brandin Podziemski, as the Men’s National Team won 74-73.

Final stats from the scrimmage were not made public but all in attendance expressed how impressive the Duke freshman was throughout the weekend in Las Vegas.

“I’m confident in my ability and my skill,” Flagg told reporters after the scrimmage on Monday.

“At the end of the day, I’m confident in who I am and what I do.”

It’s a confidence that everyone around the Duke basketball program has already seen in his short time in Durham and what many NBA scouts have noticed over the last two years as the consensus is that Cooper Flagg will be the No. 1 pick in the 2025 NBA Draft.

Flagg said that Team USA will be “dominant” at the Paris Olympics in its search for another gold medal.

“It’s going to be a dominant team that asserts their will on everybody they see,” he continued.

Cooper Flagg will not be the only Duke freshman that gets to compete against Team USA this summer as 7-foot-2 center Khaman Maluach will be a member of Team South Sudan, which is scheduled to play the Americans in an exhibition game on July 20 and in Group C action on July 31.

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