Caulton Tudor

Duke hoops target Bagley mulls reclassifcation

Posted July 17

If high school basketball star Marvin Bagley III reclassifies and enters college for the 2017-18 season, it could benefit Duke more than Arizona, even though he lives in Tempe, Ariz.

The 6-11, 220-pound forward/center said he’ll take at least four campus visits – Arizona, Duke, Kentucky and Southern Cal -- during the next few weeks.

Technically, Bagley is a rising senior at Sierra Canyon High in Tempe, but he's academically eligible for entrance at most colleges. His father told several reporters during the summer camp season that reclassification is a legitimate possibility.

Almost everyone predicts Bagley will be a one-and-done collegiate athlete regardless of where and when he attends college.

Even so, it’s going to be a tight timetable if he enters college for 2017-18. In that respect, Duke’s academic calendar would give him more time to make the transition.

Freshman orientation at Duke will start on Aug. 22 with the first day of classes set for Aug. 28. Arizona begins orientation on Aug. 16 with classes starting Aug. 21.

Obviously all of the schools Bagley is considering would find a way to get him accepted, entered, situated and ready for classes.

Duke’s current players are scheduled to be in the Dominican Republic Aug. 17-24 for an exhibition trip. There will be only two games, both against the Dominican National Team and it’s not clear if Bagley would make the trip even if he does enroll early.

Previously signed freshmen Trevon Duval, Gary Trent, Jordan Tucker, Jordan Goldwire, Alex O’Connell and Wendell Carter are expected to go and play. Senior Grayson Allen is Duke’s only player with any sort of extensive college experience.

If Bagley reclassifies, North Carolina target Zion Williamson of Spartanburg (SC) Day School likely would move up to the No. 1 prospect slot in the ’17-’18 senior class. Williamson (6-7, 230) is considering several colleges, but UNC and Kentucky are reportedly at or near the top of his current list.

Carolina has commitments from rising seniors Rechon Black (6-6, 185, Concord) and Coby White (6-4, 170, Wilson).

With Bagley on the roster for the coming season, Mike Krzyzewski would round out one of his physically largest teams in years. Carter (6-10, 260) and sophomore Marques Bolden (6-11, 245) are expected to play regularly and 7-footer Antonio Vrankovic, Javin DeLaurier (6-10) and Justin Robinson (6-9) would be options off the bench.

Minus Bagley, the starters for the exhibition trip could be Allen (6-5), Bolden, Carter, Duval (6-3, point guard) and Trent (6-6).

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