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Player of the Week: Marvin Bagley III, Duke

Duke University v University of Texas

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 24: Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Duke Blue Devils dunks the ball late in the second half of the game against the Texas Longhorns during the PK80-Phil Knight Invitational presented by State Farm at the Moda Center on November 24, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. Duke won the game 85-78. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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So I don’t know if you guys realized this, but that Marvin Bagley III kid is a pretty good basketball player.

In four games this week, he averaged 27.5 points and 12.3 boards as No. 1 Duke went 4-0 and took home the title in the PK80 Motion bracket.

But that’s kind of burying the lede, isn’t it?

Against Texas in the semifinal of the event, Bagley went for 34 points and 15 boards as the Blue Devils pounded the ball into him in the second half, sparking a comeback from 16 points down that eventually led to a win in overtime. And then on Sunday night, Bagley did it all again! He had 30 points and 15 boards against a very good Florida team in a game where the Blue Devils erased a 17-point deficit in the final 10 minutes.

So he was unbelievable this week.

No one will tell you otherwise.

But I think that he also did something to prove himself to NBA scouts that will be considering whether or not he is worth the No. 1 pick over Luka Doncic, Deandre Ayton and Michael Porter Jr. He defended. On the perimeter. Well.

Granted, he didn’t look like Draymond Green and he wasn’t totally locking up guys like Chris Chiozza and Egor Koulechov, but he more than held his own. He’s quick enough that he can stay in front while his length allows him to contest shots while playing off just a little bit.

All things considered, I’m not sure just how much better this week could have gone for Bagley.


  • TRAE YOUNG, Oklahoma: If you want to know just how ridiculous some of the individual performances were this week, consider this: Young scored 43 points and handed out seven assists in a win over Oregon on Sunday night and I’m not sure that cracks the top five. On the week, he averaged 34.7 points and 6.7 assists. On the season, he’s averaging 28.2 points and 8.6 assists. As a freshman. That’s not bad.
  • TRA HOLDER, Arizona State: The Sun Devils put together one of the most impressive wins of the young season on Friday, as they whupped up on a very good Xavier team thanks in large part to a 40-point explosion from Holder.
  • COLLIN SEXTON, Alabama: On Tuesday, Sexton scored 29 points - including the bucket that clinched the game with less than 30 seconds left - to beat a very good UT Arlington team at home. On Saturday, he finished with 40 points in a loss to No. 14 Minnesota, and 19 of those points came after the Crimson Tide were forced to play with just three players. He cut a lead from 17 points to three playing 3-on-5. I’ve never seen anything like it.
  • CHRIS CHIOZZA, Florida: There are about four players from Florida that were in consideration for this list, but Chiozza to me is their most important player. He sets the tone on both ends, and his ability to get into the paint offensively opens up a lot of things on the perimeter. He was on another level in the double-overtime win over Gonzaga on Friday night, finishing with 26 points and 10 assists.
  • MIKAL BRIDGES, Villanova: It looks like Bridges finally took the next step. He’s hit for at least 17 points in five straight games, he’s shooting 50 percent from three on the season and he was Villanova’s best player during their run to the Battle 4 Atlantis title.