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Duke Recruiting: A Look At Possible Options For Cooper Flagg

The kid has caused a rare stir in the college basketball world.

Syndication: The Commercial Appeal
 Maine United s Cooper Flagg dunks the ball during a fast break against Team Indy Head during the Nike EYBL Session 4 on May 27, 2023 at Memphis Sports and Events Center in Memphis, Tenn.
Stu Boyd II-The Commercial Appeal / USA TODAY NETWORK

After his stunning performance at Peach Jam, Cooper Flagg has emerged as a full-blown sensation.

There’s a lot of danger in that for a young athlete. It would be easy to have your head turned by all the attention, not to mention the flattery. And now of course amateur athletes have to think about agents and the like and those guys are going to be on him like you can’t believe.

There is also significant buzz about him reclassifying to 2024, but we’ll have to wait and see about that.

Meanwhile, this article looks at the contenders for his services. Keep in mind that nothing is cast in stone yet.

The article starts with Duke, as the Blue Devils have long been considered a favorite for Flagg, but it’s impossible to predict at this point.

Iowa is also listed, but to us, that seems a stretch. But it’s his decision, not ours.

Kansas is always a formidable opponent but Michigan, also listed here, is hard to predict. Juwan Howard has certainly had his moments but the program seems a bit off-kilter at the moment and having Hunter Dickinson leave probably doesn’t help either.

Mick Cronin has given UCLA a really great identity as a tough, hard-nosed team. It’s more like a Big East team now than a Pac-12 team. Or Big Ten, take your pick.

Thing about the Big Ten and UCLA that’s going to be a hard sell is the travel and no one can begin to predict how the Bruins will do in their new league.

UConn is where we thought it would be under Danny Hurley. He’s a bit erratic emotionally still but has obviously done better in that regard. He really showed great chops this past season and he makes UConn a formidable opponent.

Finally, Villanova and West Virginia. The Wildcats are in a period of transition following Jay Wright’s retirement and a talented player would probably have to take a leap of faith. It could be that Kyle Neptune had bad luck last season and that he’s incredibly persuasive. But that remains to be seen.

A leap of faith is far more true for West Virginia, which is now in a completely bizarre situation. Bob Huggins resigned after his disturbing radio incident and a subsequent DWI and, according to CBS’s Matt Norlander, cleaned out his office and told his players he was resigning.

Only now he says he never said he was going to resign and wants his job back and has lawyered up. But the Mountaineers have already promoted Huggins assistant Josh Eilert to interim coach and plan to make the full-time hire next spring.

It would be pretty bizarre for a major prospect to sign with such uncertainty. You can imagine some situations, like a girlfriend being recruited as well (it’s happened before). In the past, you could imagine a booster paying someone to do that, but with NIL, that doesn't work anymore (we’re not saying that it would with Flagg, just that it has in the past). So it’s really hard to see how West Virginia is on this list, much less how they could win out with so much uncertainty and instability.