ESPN No. 1 ranked high school junior Marvin Bagley has committed to Duke and will reclassify to the 2017 class, skipping his senior year and playing for the Blue Devils this fall.
“I had a good feeling there,” Bagley told ESPN. “Ever since they first offered me a scholarship in ninth grade, I’ve always liked Duke. It’s a special place. You have to be special to be a part of it.”
With the nation’s top junior now playing his college ball at Duke next season, the move shook up college basketball as the Blue Devils jumped from 7-1 to 3-1 favorites to win the 2018 National Championship, while Kentucky was reduced from 7-1 to 8-1 and Michigan State moved down from 8-1 to 10-1, according to the Las VegasWestgate SuperBook.
And Bagley now could challenge No. 1 Sr Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri) and No. 2 Sr DeAndre Ayton (Arizona) to become the top overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Bagley, a 6-11 forward, averaged 24.6 points and 10.1 rebounds on 66 percent shooting this season for Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, CA).
“Bagley is a scorer with impressive versatility for a 6-foot-11 power forward,” wrote Scout’s Evan Daniels. “It’s clear that the game comes easy to him and it almost appears effortless when he dominates the competition.”
“Bagley has a bag full of tricks, including touch shots, running hooks and other impressive post moves,” Daniels added.
The Blue Devis beat out the likes of Kentucky, Kansas, and Arizona to land Bagley.
At Duke, Bagley will join a ridiculously loaded team that already includes No. 4 Wendell Carter, No. 5 Trevon Duval, No. 7 Gary Trent Jr., No. 40 Jordan Tucker, No. 85 Alex O’Connell, and No. 47 PG Jordan Goldwire.
As a freshman, Bagley, the Arizona Player of the Year, averaged 19.6 points and 10.3 rebounds to lead Corona Del Sol (33-1) to the Division I championship.
That summer Bagley transferred to Phoenix’s Hillcrest Hoops to play his sophomore high school season and team up with then No. 1 junior DeAndre Ayton, a 6-10 center and fellow transfer who had averaged 21 points, 16 rebounds and 3.8 blocks the previous year at Balboa City School (San Diego).
Bagley averaged 33 points in 2015-16 in seven games with Hillcrest Hoops before leaving the school due to negative reports about Hillcrest’s dubious academics.
He then enrolled at Sierra Canyon, hoping to be cleared to resume his sophomore basketball season with the school. But he was ruled ineligible as the California CIF Southern Section determined that his transfer was solely athletically motivated.
But Bagley was later cleared to play his just-completed junior season at Sierra Canyon.
The highly sought-after class of 2018 star has been heavily recruited for years. Before he even got to high school, Bagley already had an offer from 2014 NCAA champion UConn.
“Bagley is an exquisite talent,” reads Scout’s analysis. “A southpaw, he knocks down long jump shots, buries hooks on post-ups and handles well enough to attack off the dribble in either direction.”
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