2018 Intro: Marvin Bagley

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo --- Marvin Bagley III has yet to play a varsity basketball game, but the 6-8 freshman from Tempe (Ariz.) is already known as one of the best prospects in the class of 2018.

This past weekend, Bagley justified the hype by putting on a spectacular performance at the USA Developmental Camp.

“This is a good experience for me,” said Bagley. “It’s a lot harder than it is at home. A lot of great competition and a lot of great players. This is good to go against these guys so I can see what it’s going to be like the next couple of years.”

Bagley is no stranger to attention. He received a scholarship offer from Arizona State just a few days after finishing the seventh grade and recently received offers from Arizona and Connecticut.

“I’ve known Coach Sendek for awhile,” said Bagley. “I’m just getting to know Coach Sean Miller but he’s a good guy. Other coaches, Coach (Kevin) Ollie. I’m just trying to build relationships so when the time comes I’m ready.”

When the time does come, Bagley’s father wants him to know about more than just the big name schools on the West Coast. Having attended high school in Durham (N.C) and been an All-MEAC receiver at North Carolina A&T, Marvin Bagley II is well acquainted with the Tobacco Road rivalry.

“We’ve had some communication with a couple of coaches from Carolina and Duke,” his father said. “It’s nothing serious, but we are still trying to set up something where we go back to that way during the summer time and we take a visit. We do have some communication periodically, but not like some of the other coaches in the PAC 12. You know for us, it’s nothing to drive an hour and a half or two hours to U of A and we can actually walk to Arizona State.”

“I’m from North Carolina,” the elder Bagley explained. “I do understand that UNC, Duke, the rivalry and that ACC thing. I want him to get some experience with that and just to see a little bit of that before the time comes for him to decide on schools.

Before that time comes, Bagley will start his high school career at Corona del Sol in Tempe, which is the premier basketball powerhouse in the state of Arizona. With three straight state championships, the talented freshman is planning on a fourth.

“A state championship is one goal,” noted Bagley. “To get a state championship ring would be a great feeling.”

Prior to the varsity season, Bagley got to test his skills against some of the top players in the freshmen and sophomore class at the USA event. In addition to playing against a plethora of top young talent, he matched up and held his own with a pair of seniors in 7-0 Stephen Zimmerman and 6-10 Chase Jeter in the initial practice session.

“It was tough,” said Bagley. “It was real tough. Hard banging inside, which isn’t the same as playing against 8th graders. It’s a lot more physical inside. It’s a learning process. I’ve got to go home and get back on the push-ups and stuff and get ready to go.”

Bagley showed that he is comfortable in the low post making quick and decisive moves to the basket after facing up defenders. He banged around down low looking to establish post position before unleashing a soft lefty hook.

“My strongsuits are going inside,” said Bagley. “My inside game, rebounding, and doing whatever my team needs to win. I’m still trying to work on being a leader and communicator. Mental toughness, too, and keeping my head when things go bad and picking up my teammates when they make mistakes.”

Even if Bagley does not grow anymore, it isn’t likely that his game will stagnate. He is comfortable dribbling the ball with either hand and has range out to the three-point line. Given his shooting touch and athletic genes, the transition to small forward should not be that difficult. Not only was his father a college athlete, but his grandfather won an Olympic Gold Medal and was a former player in the NBA. “Jumping Joe” Caldwell also had his number retired at Arizona State.

Bagley passed all of the challenges thrown his way this past weekend and put himself in the discussion for the top spot in 2018. The freshman has high hopes and wants to model his game after a few current NBA All-Stars.

“Mostly I try to watch Kevin Durant,” said Bagley. “He’s almost the same size if I work on my handles and my game I think I can be like that. Some other guys are LeBron and Blake Griffin, a lot of those guys that I want to try to be like that.”

Scout.com Scouting Report
by Evan Daniels

Marvin Bagley, PF: The Scout.com basketball recruiting team shies away from watching prospects prior to their freshman years, so heading into the event, we had never laid eyes on Bagley, but he had already built a reputation. The talk appears to be true, as Bagley certainly looked the part on opening day. At 6-foot-9, he has a lengthy set of arms and a frame that is sure to fill out nicely over the next few years. He’s mobile, a good athlete and showed some promise on the offensive end of the floor. He’s equipped with good hands, nice touch and even connected on hook shots. Bagley is an impressive looking post prospect.

Marvin Bagley Profile

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