Pencil in the Duke as the favorite to win the national title in San Antonio next April.
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) forward Marvin Bagley III, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2018, picked Duke over USC and UCLA Monday night on SportsCenter.
“Just the brotherhood there; that’s what Coach K preached on my visit,” Bagley said in announcing the determining factor. “I had a good feeling there ever since they first offered me a scholarship. It’s a special place.”
Bagley also announced his intentions to reclassify to 2017 and be on campus within the next few weeks after finishing up his high school academic work. Fall semester classes begins Aug. 28 at Duke.
The NCAA ultimately will need to make a determination on his eligibility.
Bagley is widely regarded as the favorite to be picked No. 1 overall in next year’s NBA Draft; therein lies the motivation for his reclassification.
Last season, Bagley was named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA first team after averaging 24.9 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks and leading Sierra Canyon to a 27-3 record.
He followed that up with a dominant summer on the Nike EYBL, averaging 25.8 points, 14.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 1.7 assists per game.
Bagley’s addition to an already stellar recruiting class of Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Trent Jr., Trevon Duval, Alex O’Connell, Jordan Goldwire and Jordan Tucker will immediately make Duke the No. 1 team in every preseason poll.
Hard to argue there with a potential starting lineup of Bagley, Duval, Grayson Allen, Trent and Carter.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY