While Zion Williamson gets a mass majority of the hype pertaining the high school class of 2018, he is not the top player of the class. That reign goes to California-native Marvin Bagley.
A 6'11" big man originally from Arizona, Bagley possesses every skill in the book, and that has been on full display in the Nike EYBL Circuit.
A lot of players play well in EYBL competition, but Marvin Bagley has been otherworldly good despite an 0-5 team record. Bagley currently leads the entire circuit with 27.4 points and 13.6 rebounds per game.
This includes last Friday when John Calipari and Kenny Payne watched Bagley drop 35 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals. He was handling the ball up the floor, hitting threes, making good passes, he had Calipari in total awe.
Even in low spirits after his team lost the game, Bagley was giving continuous praise and acclamation to Kentucky. Kyle Tucker of SEC Country caught a great moment when Bagley was mentioning the amount of players from Kentucky in the NBA, then a reporter pointed out wall images of Anthony Davis plastered around the gym they were in. This sparked a big smile from Bagley and this quote from the elite prospect.
"It’s a great program, speaks for itself," he said. "A lot of great NBA players went through Kentucky, and they’re doing great in the NBA now. Obviously, that’s my goal, to get to the NBA. Seeing that is always good, always great, so Kentucky is a great school."
Losing is something that Bagley isn't particularly used to, especially not this past year. In his first year with Sierra Canyon Bagley led the school to a No. 1 National ranking with a 27-3 record while averaging 25-10 per game.
For a lot of kids that are very very good such as Bagley, going 0-5 in mere exhibition games may not mean as much. For Bagley, it clearly means much more than just that.
"Being the competitive player I am, I want to win every game I play," Bagley said. "Losing five straight, it’s tough. We have to figure out how to get over this hump. … We’ll get it together, but, right now, it’s frustrating, losing games like this."
Though Bagley insists there's no clear favorite when it comes to the six schools he's considering, Kentucky, Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Southern Cal and UCLA, John Calipari and company seem to be in good position to land the number one recruit in the country next year. This is arguably the best front-court prospect since Karl-Anthony Towns, and a current consensus number one overall pick for whichever draft he declares to.
Above all else, this a player that could lead Kentucky or any school to a national championship and that is absolutely evident through his play now.