Marvin Bagley III Chooses Duke, Will Reclass to 2017

MARVIN BAGLEY III Photo | Jon Lopez | Nike

Marvin Bagley III has committed to Duke and will reclassify to the 2017 class, immediately making him eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft. The five-star Bagley chose Duke over USC and UCLA. Kentucky, Kansas and Arizona made up his final six schools, none of those three were part of his final decision.

“The brotherhood there,” Bagley said when asked why he chose Duke. “That’s what Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski preached to me and my family on my visit. I had a good feeling there. Ever since they offered me a scholarship in ninth grade I’ve always liked Duke. It’s a special place. I’m just blessed. I thank God everyday for allowing me to see schools like that and to be in a position to go to a place like that.”

Asked about the distance and how he would handle the change. “That’s when the coaches came in,” Bagley stated. “I really trust the coaching staff over there. They told me that if I went there it would go smooth and they would get me better. I’m very happy with my decision and I’m ready to get it going.”


When it comes to his game, scouts have no shortage of superlatives for Bagley. Top prospect in all of high school hoops, rare, impressive leaper, extreme talent, Anthony Davis-type, game-changer, dominant, his motor does not stop and Chris Bosh-like qualities, are just a few.

“Bagley, in our opinion, has separated himself from his peers and is far and away the top prospect in all of high school hoops,” wrote Scout’s National Director of Scouting Evan Daniels in their most recent updated 2018 rankings. “Bagley obviously has plus size for the position, but his physical gifts extend much further than just his size. It’s rare to find a player at his size, so fluid, mobile and athletic. Bagley is quick off his feet, moves well laterally and is an impressive leaper.”

“From a skill standpoint, Bagley is fairly advanced, but certainly not a finished product,” stated Daniels. “His scoring attack is versatile, as his offensive package allows him to play facing the rim or with his back to it on the block. Bagley is a particularly good ball handler for his size and is effective when he looks to drive from the perimeter or the elbows.”

The Arizona product via Sierra Canyon High (CA) should take over the top spot in the final 2017 rankings, eclipsing Missouri freshman sensation Michael Porter Jr. With his commitment to Duke ends with the overall number one recruiting class in 2017.

Bagley dominated the Nike EYBL summer circuit, averaging a second best 25.8 points trailing only the new number one player in the 2018 class, R.J. Barrett. Bagley led the league in rebounding with 14.9 per game, 2.3 rebounds more than second best, Missouri commit Jontay Porter. Defensively he was a force, averaging a third best 3.1 blocks per outing, trailing only Dimon Carrigan and 7-foot-1 big man Bol Bol.

With Bagley’s commitment, Duke now has four-five stars in their incoming 2017 class. Bagley — the top overall forward in the class — joins Trevon Duval, Wendell Carter and Gary Trent Jr. Four-stars Alex O’Connell and Jordan Tucker and three-star Jordan Goldwire make up the overall top class in the country. Bagley’s addition could bolt the Blue Devils to the overall number one spot in the pre-season rankings.

“Bagley is an extreme talent,” 247Sports National Director of Basketball Scouting Jerry Meyer said via e-mail. “He’s sort of in that mold of an Anthony Davis-type big man in that he’s multi-skilled all over the floor, and shows great composure with the basketball. And over the past year, he’s developed a lot more grit to his game, showing a lot more in terms of defense, blocking shots and growing into an overall excellent big man.”

“He’s a game-changer,” Meyer continued. “And wherever he goes, if he reclassifies, I think the odds in Vegas to win the national title change for whatever team he chooses.”

“He’s really the most skilled and dominant big man that I’ve have had the chance to evaluate within recent years,” said Corey Evans, National Recruiting Analyst for Rivals. “He’s a 6-foot-11 left handed power forward that is a tremendous rebounder of the ball and has unbelievable hands, touch in the lane and is super quick off of his feet. This allows him to score, rebound and block shots at a high rate.”

“He can step out and shoot the 3-point jumper, though he is at his best from the mid post region as he sports Chris Bosh-like qualities on the face-up,” Evans continued. “His motor does not stop running, he is excellent at starting the fast break off of the rebound and has all of the capabilities that, wherever he lands, to make that program an instant national championship favorite.”

Asked about the decision, Bagley said he leaned on his family. “We took a lot of time to sit down and look at the pros and cons of every school and Duke was the best fit for me,” Bagley said.

Bagley will wear number 35 at Duke, a number formerly retired and worn by Danny Ferry.


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