It's not often that a recruit committing to Duke qualifies as a shocker, but in the case of MARVIN BAGLEY III, the surprise stemmed from the fact that he was committing at all. Originally the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2018, the 6'11" Bagley abruptly reclassified in August and announced he'd be heading to Durham immediately.
The multidimensional big man with a burgeoning jumper who played at Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth, Calif., joins a roster already loaded with precocious talent, including three more five-star freshmen in guards TREVON DUVAL and GARY TRENT JR. and forward WENDELL CARTER JR. As with last year's squad—which was ranked No. 1 in the preseason but was bounced in the NCAA tournament's second round by seventh-seeded South Carolina—the task for MIKE KRZYZEWSKI will be incorporating all of the individual stars into a formidable team.
Duval is a shifty passer and savvy ballhandler who can get to any spot on the floor. That will allow senior GRAYSON ALLEN—a 2015--16 All-America who suffered through an injury- and controversy-filled junior season in which he was suspended for (once again) tripping an opponent—to play off the ball and free Trent to spot up for threes. Bagley has the ability to play all three frontcourt spots, making him a matchup nightmare. If he spends what would have been his 12th-grade spring trimming nets, that won't come as much of a surprise.
PROJECTED TEAM STATS
With 2017--18 projections for the top six scorers
COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI (38TH SEASON)
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Grayson Allen [Starter] 6'5" Sr.
Marvin Bagley III [Starter] 6'11" Fr.
Trevon Duval [Starter] 6'3" Fr.
Wendell Carter Jr. [Starter] 6'10" Fr.
Gary Trent Jr. 6'6" Fr.
Marques Bolden [Starter] 6'11" Soph.
In an injury-plagued freshman season, MARQUES BOLDEN played just 6.5 minutes per game. Now at full strength (and following rumors that he was considering transferring), Duke's best ball-screen defender will be a dangerous weapon—provided he's healthy enough to stay on the court.