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Bagley will make Duke the No. 1 team, favorite to win title — and that sucks

Marvin Bagley is a generational talent and his Monday night announcement will likely shift the landscape of college basketball this upcoming 2017-18 season.

Bagley’s big announcement, scheduled for the 11 pm edition of SportsCenter, is expected to be his intentions to reclassify to the Class of 2017 and enroll in college this fall, as well as where he will go for his one season of college basketball. Duke, UCLA and USC are the three contenders for Bagley’s services, each having hosted Bagley on a visit within the last month; but Duke is the most likely of the three.

And that sucks for every team and fan base not named Duke.

With the addition of Bagley, the Blue Devils will instantly jump to the No. 1 overall preseason ranking and become the overwhelming favorite to win the NCAA title. Duke already shares the shortest odds to win it all with Kentucky at 7-to-1, per the latest odds from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, but those odds will shrink even shorter with the top-ranked player in the country joining what is already considered the second-ranked incoming recruiting class (it will jump Kentucky for first), plus Grayson Allen’s unexpected senior season.

Here’s Duke’s projected starting five, should Bagley commit and gain instant eligibility:

G – Trevon Duval, Freshman (True point guard replacing Frank Jackson; top-ranked point guard and ranked fifth overall in the 2017 ESPN 100)
G – Gary Trent Jr., Freshman (Top-ranked shooting guard and seventh overall player in 2017 ESPN 100)
G – Grayson Allen, Senior (Veteran leader with championship experience; preseason Naismith Player of the Year candidate; NCAA All-American)
F – Marvin Bagley, Freshman 
F/C – Wendell Carter Jr., Freshman (Top-ranked power forward and fourth overall player in 2017 ESPN 100)

There will still be questions of youth and depth, which is a longer conversation for another time, but that is the best starting lineup in the country, at least on paper. The insertion of Bagley into the power forward spot — Duke’s only weakness right now, in theory — will have an enormous impact on how the Blue Devils play and how dominant Coach K’s team will be next year.

Bagley can do it all: inside and out, offensively and defensively; which is why he has always been the Class of 2018’s top player and the projected No. 1 overall pick for whatever year he enters the draft. The pieces are now lining up for that to be next summer (sorry, Michael Porter Jr.), and spending seven months in Durham before the NBA may very well earn him a national championship, too.

Of course, there is still a shot he picks UCLA or USC, which will then direct more national championship talk their way, but Duke stands to grow the strongest after Bagley’s Monday announcement.

And that sucks.

Because nobody likes Duke.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

20 Comments for Bagley will make Duke the No. 1 team, favorite to win title — and that sucks

  1. Booby Petrino
    2:18 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Meh, same hype last year and that didn’t pan out for them. And who the hell thought Grayson Allen returning was unexpected? Totally expected imo.

  2. gobble gobble
    2:21 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Still like our team better.

    • Mc12
      3:35 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

      After thinking about it, I think I may too. The reason is the amount of versatility and mixture of line-ups we can run out there. Although Begley would drop 20+ points and 10+ boards, I still think we’d match-up fine on paper.

  3. a21CATSfan
    2:24 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    The only tea leaf I can read is that the announcement is so late on the east coast. Surely Marvin knows that Coach K is asleep by then?!

  4. Sarahvah
    2:31 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Duke is always good but they never do as good as UK with superstar players imo. Their superteam last year stunk minus that ACC tournament run

  5. Kevin C
    2:34 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Sounds like a repeat of last season, TBH. How’d that work out for them?

  6. nadroj
    2:34 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Still rather he go to Duke than UCLA. As long as UCLA is the only team ahead of us on national titles, I’ll root harder against them than anyone.

    Hopefully he’ll be a Trojan next year.

  7. Trevor
    2:58 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Of the teams he is considering…UCLA is the only one on our schedule….just saying

  8. fireants25
    3:34 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    I would be shocked if 4 freshman and a senior won the title that wasn’t named Kentucky. I can’t imagine Duke winning it with a young team like that and our fan base being ok with Cal not…shew I pray Duke doesn’t win it !

    • Reuben Cuban
      5:11 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

      I agree. And, this is good. Pressure’s on dook – again.

  9. Sentient Third Eye
    3:38 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Duke will self-destruct. Grayson Allen is still on the roster, and he’s selfish locker-room cancer for the team. Any team with him on it will spell “team” with nothing BUT “i”s.

  10. Rauh Gauh
    3:49 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    I truly think this kid could lead an average team to the final 4. Horrible News

  11. zanraid
    4:16 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Looks like the “be an aristocratic prick” recruiting pitch is working.

  12. 2Dogs
    4:36 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    What is the process for reclassifying, who approves it, how long does it take and what is the deadline to do so? And if he picks Duke will this process take minutes as opposed to weeks?

  13. EdC
    4:54 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Duke has the sports press in their back pocket. They will be the favorite to win more years than all the other teams put together.

  14. shelby
    5:16 pm August 14, 2017 Permalink

    I like how every other year we have a once in a generation or transitional player lol. Ben simmons, lonzo ball, malik newman, etc…

  15. For those of you who are saying “How’d that work out for them last year?”, be careful. They took the gas pipe in round 1 against Mercer in 2014 but then turned around and won it all in 2015 when took the gas pipe against Wisky.

    Hopefully a21CATSfan is sentient in thinking that the late announcement time means it’s USC. I can hope can’t I?

  16. StuckinLville
    2:37 am August 15, 2017 Permalink

    Well Coach K couldnt make it work last year so lets see what he can do with this much talent. I still wonder what happened though. Bagley was thought to be a UK lock and now Duke. I’ve read eligibility concerns. Duke’s the best place for him so they just overlook it.