No. 1 Bagley III to classify for ’17, play at Duke

12:19 AM ET

The biggest news in college basketball comes in August which is typically one of the quietest recruiting months of the year.

The nation’s No. 1 high school recruit Marvin Bagley III made his decision to reclassify up into the class of 2017 on Monday, which means he will immediately be a freshmen in college basketball this season.

Along with his decision to reclassify Bagley said on SportsCenter that he will play his college basketball at Duke for Hall of Hame coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“I would like to thank Danny Ferry and Coach K to allow to wear his retired number 35 at Duke University,” Bagley said as he pulled out a blue Duke jersey out of bag on the Sportscenter set in Los Angeles, referring to the 1989 Naismith Award winner who played for the Blue Devils from 1985 through ’89.

Bagley Jr. said Duke wasn’t a decision he made for his son, who recently took official visits to Duke, USC, and UCLA.

“It wasn’t where I wanted him to go, it’s just where Marvin felt comfortable,” Bagley Jr. said. “You know, it was an extremely tough decision. Every school have everything lined up perfect. But in a case like this, you just got to go with your heart. And that’s where his heart is, at Duke, in the Bull City in Durham.”

By choosing Duke he joins a six-man freshman class that includes five ESPN top 100 prospects. With Bagley headed to Durham along with their returning roster this instantly puts the Blue Devil’s in position to win the ACC regular season title and to become a legitimate Final Foul contender and to win a national championship.

Bagley’s decision was felt in Las Vegas, too, where the odds at the Westgate Superbook for Duke winning next season’s national championship moved from 7-1 to 3-1, while Kentucky move down from 7-1 to 8-1, Michigan State moved down from 8-1 to 10-1, and Kansas and Arizona move down from 10-1 to 12-1.

The last time a No. 1 prospect reclassified up this late was Andre Drummond who was scheduled to enter college in 2012. He committed to Connecticut in August 2011. He finished the year at UConn leading the team in field goal percentage, rebounding and block shots. He then entered the NBA draft and was selected ninth in 2012 by the Detroit Pistons.

Bagley recently participated in the elite Drew Summer league in which he played along-side James Harden and Chris Paul and competed against NBA talent. In the All-Star game, he recorded a double-double by scoring 18 points and grabbing 20 rebounds. Bagley owns undeniable talent and untapped potential in the game. Left-handed and 6-foot-11, he demonstrates extreme skill both on the interior and from the outside. He frequently recorded double-doubles and some triple-doubles.

Adding Bagley to the class of 2017 along with scoring savant Michael Porter Jr. and physically imposing big man Deandre Ayton, as well as newly reclassified No. 24 Jontay Porter (Missouri), makes this class rival last year’s group that had historic one and done draft picks. The race for a national championship has changed with Bagley’s decision as Duke now can be considered a serious contender.

Bagley will now be the No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2017 and Duke will boast the No. 1 class. In the last four years Duke has landed the number one class three times and recently it’s their third No. 1 player to headed to Durham as No. 1 Harry Giles(2016) and No. 1 Jahlil Okafor (2014) also selected Duke.

As for now Zion Williamson will take over the top spot in 2018 until the rankings get updated the week of August 21.


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