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UCLA Basketball: Steve Alford Loses Marvin Bagley III To Duke

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Bagley will be eligible to play this season for the Blue Devils when he reclassifies for 2017.

2017 CIF Southern Section Boys Open Division Championship - Semifinals Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Steve Alford missed on what would have been the biggest recruiting win since he became coach at UCLA when Marvin Bagley III announced that he would attend Duke this Fall. So much for Steve Alford’s ability to recruit the Los Angeles area.

Even the fact that Bagley’s Sierra Canyon teammate Cody Riley is headed to Westwood wasn’t enough to bring Bagley to UCLA.

Bagley made his announcement on ESPN SportsCenter tonight.

So, just how good is Bagley?

Sportscenter host Neil Everett said he would have been the number 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft if he had been eligible. ESPN’s basketball recruiting director Paul Biancardi called him a “once in a generation talent.”

Bagley is actually a junior right now, but will graduate in a few weeks and ask the NCAA to reclassify him so he can play this year. But, that is seen as a formality.

Duke now jumps into the mix for a possible NCAA title run next April.