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Duke Recruiting: Cooper Flagg Just Keeps Rising

The rising star from Maine is having a star turn at Peach Jam

 SPRINGFIELD, MA - JANUARY 14: Cooper Flagg of Montverde Academy (32) shoots the ball during the Hoophall Classic high school basketball game between Montverde Academy and LaLumiere on January 14, 2023 at Blake Arena in Springfield, MA
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cooper Flagg has used Peach Jam to put the world on notice: he’s on the way.

Over on CBS’s Eye On College Basketball, Matt Norlander says that one coach called his near-quadruple double the single greatest performance he’s ever seen at Peach Jam.

More intriguingly for Duke fans, he also says that a lot of coaches have backed off because of the perception that Duke has a big lead in his recruitment.

Don’t get too excited about that - he’s 16 and probably hasn’t really done all of his recruiting homework, if you will. It’s possible that any recruit could be focused on one school and then take his visits and be blown away by some place. As always, fans get excited about talented players, but it’s their decision and not anyone else’s.

But one thing that can’t happen anymore, at least not in the same way, is for schools to give under the table cash, thanks to NIL.

We thought about this because a former Kentucky player we got to know told us that one of his teammates had flip-flopped and an assistant Wildcat coach went to talk to him. He upped the offer, and then made sure that there wouldn't be a bidding war with the other school, and the kid did end up in Lexington (this was well before John Calipari took over, incidentally).

It’s going to be a lot harder to do that with NIL (but no one should doubt human creativity).

According to Norlander, there are also rumors of Flagg possibly reclassifying to 2024, but again, there’s nothing concrete about that.

What is concrete is the enormous impression he has left at Peach Jam. We’d love for him to go to Duke of course but wherever he goes, this kid is going to be fun to watch. The normal game is to say: he reminds me of: A) Larry Bird, B) Rick Barry, C) fill in the blank. In his case, we can’t really think of anyone. Bird was ferocious and struck in the blink of an eye. Barry was a highly refined perfectionist with an artistic temperament. We really can’t think of a comparison for Flagg. So far, he seems pretty unique.

Here are the highlights from his epic performance the other night and some other videos from Peach Jam.

How many guys even flirt with a quadruple double?

If you want to watch the Under-16 finals of Peach Jam, it’s at 2:00 pm on Sunday on ESPNU.

Also, Duke commit Isaiah Evans has made a solid impression this weekend.