Marvin Bagley would be a season-changing addition for Duke, USC or UCLA

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Marvin Bagley, who may be the best basketball prospect that is not currently on an NBA roster, will be announcing where he will play his college basketball on Monday night.

We detailed the particulars of that decision last night — it will likely be as a member of the Class of 2017, it’s so he can get into the 2018 NBA Draft, whether or not he’s eligible to play immediately at the college level this year is not the most important part of this decision.

Here, we’re going to talk impact.

What will Bagley’s commitment mean for the three schools* still in the mix?

*(At this point it does not appear that Arizona is still in the mix for the Arizona-native. Bagley only visited Duke, USC and UCLA this past month, Arizona doesn’t have a scholarship available and the program is currently in Spain for their team trip. If he does shock the world and pick the Wildcats, they will quite clearly be the preseason No. 1 team in the country. Bagley and Deandre Ayton could end up being the top two picks in June.)

Marvin Bagley III (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

DUKE

With Bagley in the mix, Duke — who are, as of this posting, my pick to land the 6-foot-11 forward — would have a very strong case to be slotted as the preseason No. 1 team in the country. Given the way that last season went, that may not go over all that well, but there’s a valid argument: The Blue Devils would start three freshmen — Bagley, Trevon Duval and Wendell Carter — that are top seven prospects in the class, according to 247 Sports composite rankings, and another who would be the No. 17 player in the class in Gary Trent Jr. They finally have a point guard to replace Tyus Jones in the for of Duval. Grayson Allen, the lone returnee from last year’s team, is finally healthy, according to Mike Krzyzewski, and on paper is a veteran leader and an all-american caliber player.

Youth would be a major issue, as Allen would likely be the only rotation player that is an upperclassmen. Depth is going to be another problem as well, as Duke’s reserves will likely be made up of some combination of freshmen Alex O’Connell and Jordan Tucker and sophomore Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier.

But the talent there in undeniable, and unlike last season, the pieces actually fit together. Duval is a playmaker at the point, although he has a reputation for being more of an attacker than a ‘pure point guard’, while Trent and Allen are scorers with three-point range on the wing. Carter, who many believe to be the second-coming of Al Horford, should be able to handle his own on the block.

Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

And then there’s Bagley, who is the ideal for what Duke is looking for at the four spot. He’s big enough that he can defend as a four — or even a five — but he’s skilled enough to play on the perimeter in four-around-one lineups. The Blue Devils don’t currently have a guy that can fill that Jayson Tatum, Jabari Parker, Justise Winslow, Brandon Ingram role, and Bagley might be better suited to do it than any of them.

At the very least he should being the most on the defensive end.

Which is why I think his arrival at Duke would make the Blue Devils a real national title contender, if not the favorite to win the whole thing.

USC

Imagine if the Trojans are able to land Bagley over Duke and UCLA. Andy Enfield beating out Coach K and Steve Alford for a recruit, particularly a recruit from the West Coast that played in Southern California last high school season?

That would be a helluva statement to make.

It would also put USC firmly in the mix as the nation’s preseason No. 1 team. They’re already loaded, particularly in the front court. Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu both returned to school for their junior seasons, and with the addition of Bagley, one of those three would be relegated to coming off of the bench. My guess is that it would be Metu simply because of the style that USC plays. They want to run the floor, they want to space the court, they want to fire up threes and score points in a hurry, and I think that Bagley’s ability to replace the rebounding that rim protection that Metu provides is better than his ability to provide the pure shooting ability of Boatwright.

Andy Enfield (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Regardless, that front court, which is already one of the best in the country, would likely become the best with the addition of Bagley.

And when the Trojans already have a perimeter attack that includes veterans Jordan McLaughlin, Elijah Stewart and Derryck Thornton along with De’Anthony Melton, Jonah Mathews and Shaqquan Aaron, you’re looking at an absolutely loaded roster that perfectly fits the way Enfield wants to play.

UCLA

The Bruins are the interesting case here.

For starters, they are an Under Armour school, and Bagley has played on the Nike circuit the last two years. That’s not a deal breaker, but the presence of LaVar Ball in and around that program, particularly with the one son (LiAngelo) every is already concerned about on the roster, it makes that landing spot seem somewhat unlikely.

But if Steve Alford does find a way to convince the Bagleys that UCLA is the best place for Marvin., he would be a season-changing recruit. UCLA already has a loaded perimeter attack. Jaylen Hands is one of the best point guards in the Class of 2017 even though he may not even be the best point guard on UCLA’s roster for this season; that title likely belongs to the ever-underrated Aaron Holiday. Throw in Kris Wilkes, Chris Smith, Prince Ali and Ball, and there are a ton of guard options here.

What they lack, however, is a proven four, someone who can play the role that T.J. Leaf played last season. Bagley can, and at a much higher level. That may be hard for someone like Cody Riley or G.G. Goloman to swallow, but Bagley’s skill alongside the ability of Thomas Welsh to pull defenders away from the rim is enticing.

UCLA is currently a top 20 team entering the season. With Bagley, they probably enter the top ten with a real shot of winning the Pac-12.

Steve Alford (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Report: North Carolina won’t attend White House

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After capturing a national championship earlier this year, the North Carolina men’s basketball team will not be visiting the White House, a North Carolina spokesman said to Andrew Carter of the The Charlotte Observer.

Although the Tar Heels were invited to go to the White House from the staff of President Donald Trump, the team couldn’t figure out a date that worked.

“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” North Carolina team spokesman Steve Kirschner said to Carter. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”

According to Carter’s report, Kirschner also said that North Carolina players, “were fine with going.”

With Trump’s recent comments towards NFL players and the national anthem and his Saturday morning tweet at Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the President with regards to athletes over the past 24 hours.

Although the timing of this may seem like North Carolina is making some sort of political statement, the school is downplaying any sort of politics by focusing on the bad timing.

Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer

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Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer from the program to move closer to home, according to a release from the school.

The 6-foot-7 Ridder hails from Springfield, Missouri as he was regarded as a top-150 prospect by Rivals in the Class of 2017.

“After much consideration and talking with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to move home,” Ridder said in the release.

“Jared has indicated to the coaching staff that he has a desire to be closer to home,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. “While we are disappointed, we all want Jared to be happy moving forward. We wish him nothing but the best.”

A potent scorer and noted perimeter shooter at the high school level, Ridder helped MoKan win the Nike Peach Jam during the summer of 2016 playing alongside talented players like Missouri’s Michael and Jontay Porter and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. With a desire to move closer to home, could Ridder potentially land at a spot where one of his talented former teammates is playing?

Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season of high school ball at Kickapoo as he was a first-team, All-State selection in Missouri.

Four-star 2018 forward Ian Steere decommits from Creighton

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Creighton took a big hit to its recruiting efforts late this week as Class of 2018 forward Ian Steere is decommitting from the Bluejays, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Steere’s decommitment was first reported by Julius Kim of Elevate Hoops.

The 6-foot-8 Steere is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals as he is coming off of a very solid spring and summer playing with Team Charlotte in the Under Armour Association. A plus athlete who isn’t afraid to bang on the interior, Steere showing an improving skill level throughout the spring and summer as he could see his recruiting soar after opening things up.

According to a report from Jon Nyatawa of the World-Herald, one of the reasons that Steere is opening up his recruitment is his desire to be closer to his native North Carolina. With so many top programs looking for quality help on the interior, it’ll be interesting to see which programs jump in and try to recruit Steere the second time around.

John Wall emotional in Kentucky Hall of Fame induction speech

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John Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night as he delivered an emotional speech while talking to his mother.

The first inductee into the Hall of Fame to play for current Wildcat head coach John Calipari, Wall only spent the 2009-10 season in Lexington but he became the first national player of the year to play at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Thanking his mother, Calipari, his family, friends and Big Blue Nation, the Washington Wizards guard gave a very moving speech, including an emotional part directed to his mother at around 4:35.

Ohio State snags third 2018 commitment in a week with four-star guard Luther Muhammad

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Ohio State continued a strong week on the recruiting trail on Friday night by landing a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Luther Muhammad.

Regarded as a four-star prospect, the 6-foot-4 Muhammad is a tough and rugged perimeter defender who can attack the basket. Also showing some ability to play on the ball as a secondary handler, Muhammad is a very solid addition to Ohio State’s recruiting class since they need to overhaul their roster under new head coach Chris Holtmann.

Muhammad is the third player to commit to the Buckeyes in the Class of 2018 this week as he joins four-star forward Jaedon LeDee and three-star guard Duane Washington in the current Ohio State recruiting class. Since Washington is a three-point threat and Muhammad is more of an off-the-bounce specialist, the two guards are a good start for Ohio State in this class as they will likely try to find a true floor leader to play with them on the perimeter.