Duke staff’s work behind the scenes all summer helped land Marvin Bagley

Marvin Bagley III’s enrolled at Duke for his freshman season and has been declared eligible to play for what’s expected to be his lone season of college basketball.

From the outside, it appears to be a stunningly quick turnaround since the Bagley only announced in mid-August his plans to reclassify back a year from the Class of 2018 and play at Duke this season.

But his plan had been in the works for months — stretching back earlier this year when he was officially only completing his junior year at Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, California.

Duke’s’ coaching staff, with associate head coach Jeff Capel leading the recruitment, worked with the Bagley family to reach this goal.

His academic transcripts showed Bagley had enough credits from the three high schools he’d attended that. With some work over the summer, he could complete the necessary requirements to graduate early, gain acceptance to Duke and earn approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse.

The first two of those achievements would allow Bagley to be eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft rather than spending one more year in high school and entering Duke next summer. The whole plan gets Bagley one year closer to the huge payday that will come his way once he enters the NBA, where he’s projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft.

Bagley was a good enough student that he’d earned enough credits in the important core courses early in his high school career. That put him in position to finish up his classes over the summer through alternative methods, like online courses, that met the NCAA’s scrutiny.


Why the addition of Bagley matters so much

Duke had already put together the strong recruiting class it needed to replenish its roster after Jayson Tatum, Luke Kennard, Harry Giles and Frank Jackson were selected in last June’s NBA Draft.

A team featuring freshmen Trevon Duval, Gary Trent, Jr., Wendell Carter and Jordan Tucker, along with senior guard Grayson Allen, would have enough talent to compete for another ACC championship.

But Duke wasn’t done.

The Bagley family liked how Duke’s staff worked with them to get Marvin Bagley a year closer to the NBA. They picked the Blue Devils to be the team he’ll play for this season.

That means Duke has an athletic 6-11 superstar who perfectly fits their offense as a stretch-four forward. Now Duke, once again, will enter the season as a top-five team, perhaps even the No 1-ranked team for the second season in row.


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