By Asha Doucet
No.1 overall recruit Marvin Bagley III is proving to be the real deal so far in his college tenure, and he’s largely the reason why Duke is the NCAA’s No.1 team.
It’s hard to stop Marvin Bagley III. The truth is you can’t; you just hope he has a bad game. The freshman phenom has led the Duke Blue Devils to an undefeated 7-0 start to the season, and with him playing at such a high level they look unbeatable.
Even in their past two games where both Texas and Florida have had them on the ropes, Duke has come back to win.
In their matchup against the Longhorns, Duke was down by 14 points with just nine minutes left in regulation and Bagley helped spark a comeback that sent the game into overtime. The Blue Devils’ team captain and senior Grayson Allen fouled out of the game so Bagley took over scoring eight points in the extra period to help lift Duke over Texas, 85-78.
Bagley ended that game with 34 points and 15 rebounds tieing J.J. Redick’s single-game scoring record for a freshman.
If that wasn’t enough to announce his presence, Bagley III followed up that performance with a 30-point-15-rebound game against the Florida Gators to push Duke to an 87-84 win after overcoming a 17-point deficit.
All of the hype surrounding the freshman phenom and No.1 recruit is real.
Let’s not forget that Bagley would still be a senior in high school right now but opted out of his final year at Sierra Canyon High to play for Duke–looks like he made the right decision.
Although Bagley is clearly a unicorn, he’s a Drew League veteran and has spent valuable time playing with the best college, amateur and pro basketball players L.A. summers have to offer.
Marvin Bagley is 18 years old.
-25 pts, 10 rebs
-24 pts, 10 rebs
-4 pts, 6 rebs
-19 pts, 11 rebs
-24 pts, 8 rebs
-18 pts, 15 rebs
-34 pts, 15 rebs
-30 pts, 15 rebs (tonight vs. #7 Florida)#Duke
— Xavier Sanchez (@Xavier_Sanchez4) November 27, 2017
His natural talent and Drew League experience playing with older, stronger and more experienced guys has paid off. Despite Bagley’s slim frame, he looks like a man amongst boys in college and he’s making a strong case to be the No.1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.