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Peach Jam: Cooper Flagg backs up No. 1 ranking

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Thursday brought another full day of action at the 2023 Peach Jam, but for Rivals it was time to focus on the underclassmen, as national analyst Rob Cassidy spent the day watching the youngsters showcase their skills.

Below, Cassidy shares some news and notes pertaining to players in the classes of 2025 and 2026.

MORE PEACH JAM: Wednesday's thoughts


2024 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

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Thursday saw No. 1-ranked prospect Cooper Flagg turn in the most dominant performance of the tournament and one of the most impressive showings of the year at large. Roughly a month after taking over the top spot in the Rivals150, Flagg racked up 38 points, six rebounds, 11 blocks and six assists against a Proskills team full of legitimate Division-I prospects to solidify his standing as top dog.

The extraordinary effort was the 6-foot-8 Flagg’s junior year masterpiece and saw him shoot 14-for-24 from the floor and in addition to bringing the ball up the floor and creating for his teammates.

Considered a Duke lean, Flagg has recently been the subject of reclassification rumors. If such a thing comes to fruition, it would make the five-star wing eligible to take the floor for the Blue Devils, or any school of his choosing, during the 2024-25 season.

Coaches from Michigan, Kansas, Kentucky and UConn were on hand to watch Flagg’s dominant effort. And while his recruitment is not over by any means, it may take a herculean effort to wrestle the five-star way from Duke down the stretch.



Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton was one of a handful of head coaches courtside to see 2026 prospect Jalen Montonati, and the young wing did not disappoint. With Boynton looking on, the 6-foot-7 forward knocked down three 3-pointers on his way to a 23-point, three-assist, three-rebound performance in a win.

The Oklahoma-based Montonati already lists 10 scholarship offers, but the one he holds from OSU is particularly notable due to the fact that Montonati’s father played for the Cowboys under legendary head coach Eddie Sutton.

“My dad coaches me at my high school and says he takes a lot of stuff that Eddie taught him to teach me when he’s out there coaching me,” Montonati said “With recruiting, he always tells me that it’s my story to write. He went to Oklahoma State but he wants me to go wherever is the best fit for me.”

Michigan, Kansas, Kansas State and others have also offered Montonati, and each program had at least one coach courtside during Thursday’s game.



Four-star point guard Jordan Lowery has trouble remembering all the calls he’s taken since it became permissible for college coaches to contact prospects in the class of 2025 last month. The Denton (Texas) Guyer sophomore is going to field even more calls, however, if he continues to be as efficient as he was on Thursday afternoon.

Lowery scored 18 points on just seven shots running with Drive Nation and didn’t turn the ball over once while making smart decisions in the half court. All of it took place in front of North Carolina State assistant coach Joel Justus, who has already offered Lowery a scholarship.

“I just love how they let the guards play,” Lowery said of the Wolfpack. “They let the guards play free. The guards lead the team, and that’s what I like. I’m definitely going to go visit.”

Lowery says he hopes to visit Texas A&M, Arkansas and Oklahoma in addition to NC State this fall.



Four-star guard Jovani Ruff has plenty of options as things stand and more offers will likely arrive in the year ahead. That said, the California-based guard is already starting to think about possible visit destinations and has a handful at the front of his mind.

“I’m setting up a visit to Cal Berkeley for the fall, but I also want to check out USC, UCLA and Illinois hopefully,” Ruff said on Thursday.

UCLA seems to lead the way early with Ruff, but the four-star guard has strong ties to USC as well. The Trojans have already offered the Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High School star a scholarship and could find themselves at the center of his recruitment if they are able to get him on campus for a visit down the road.

“I love USC,” Ruff said following his Thursday evening game. “My mom actually works the shot clock for the men’s and women’s teams at USC, so I’ve been around USC my whole life. She’s been working that clock since I was born."