Marvin Bagley III, the best high school player in a number of years, declares his choice of college tonight at 11 p.m. UCLA is in the running for Bagley, although, Duke is the favorite. The 6’11” Bagley makes any team an instant title contender. As USA Today states:
On Monday during the 11 p.m. ET edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter, we’ll find out where Bagley will head to college and whether he’ll stay put in 2018 or reclassify to 2017 and enroll in college immediately.
Whichever school lands the 6-foot-10 all-purpose forward will easily be a favorite to win the NCAA title next April, assuming his is cleared to play.
This summer he demolished the competition on the Nike EYBL, widely regarded as the most grueling summer circuit of them all, to the tune of 25.8 points, 14.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 1.7 assists per game.
To cap off the summer, Bagley dominated current NBA players in Los Angeles’ famed Pro Am Drew League.
Yep, this is the real deal. If UCLA gets Bagley, there is every reason to believe this will be Steve Alford’s best UCLA team. And for the record, I am a big Lonzo Ball fan. It is just UCLA would have all the pieces for its best defensive team and second best offensive team.
Think about this dream.
You have what many championship teams have, an experienced big man in Thomas Welsh at Center. Bagley is the ideal modern stretch Power Forward. In the modern college game a true Small Forward is becoming increasingly rare as most teams play three guards, but the 6’7” Kris Wilkes would give UCLA a true small forward and matchup nightmare for other teams. Then you have a great experienced combo guard in Aaron Holiday who can now gamble and put pressure on the other team’s point guard on defense knowing that he has three bigs behind him . In Jaylen Hands pairing with Holiday in the backcourt you have potentially the best defensive backcourt for UCLA since Darren Collision and Arron Afflalo.
And if you are Steve Alford in back-to-back years you have one of the top two picks in the NBA Draft. This is big. Yeah it probably won’t happen, but if it did. Lonzo was fun, Marvin could be titles:
UCLA was Bagley's final official visit. The Bruins, like every team listed here, are ranked in our preseason poll. But they're in the lowest spot, at 20. Steve Alford is no doubt pushing very hard the idea that he got Lonzo Ball to be a top-two pick, and now Bagley can be the guy to go No. 1 -- the first UCLA player to do so since another massive recruit, Bill Walton.
UCLA has good returning pieces from a Sweet 16 team, but Bagley joining the roster would put the Bruins in top-10 territory and give them a chance at punching with Arizona and USC for the Pac-12 title. The Bruins bring back Aaron Holiday, Thomas Welsh, Prince Ali and get a nice freshman duo in point guard Jaylen Hands and wing Kris Wilkes. Bagley and the 7-foot Welsh playing together would be really intriguing and really imposing.
Come to Westwood Marvin. Join Kareem and Bill and lead us to the title.