NBA Draft Preview: Duke’s Marvin Bagley III

All Marvin Bagley III did during his one year at Duke was put together the most productive freshman season ever at one of the nation’s premier programs.

So it’s easy to see why scouts are bullish on the agile power forward.

The AP All-American and ACC player and rookie of the year became the first person to lead the conference in scoring (21 ppg) and rebounding (11.1 rpg) since North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough in 2007-08. As one of only four Division I players to average 20 and 10, Bagley established nine Duke freshman records, including scoring average, rebounding average and double-doubles (22).

An athletic big man who runs the floor well, Bagley’s game looks like it will transition seamlessly to the NBA. His 39.7 3-point percentage was third in the nation among players 6-foot-11 or taller who attempted at least 50 from deep, and his 64.0 effective field goal percentage also ranked third by someone from a power conference.

The lefty handles the ball well for a big man and despite his size, he can create off the dribble while facing the basket. He’s nimble and crafty but isn’t afraid of getting physical, as he can finish at the rim as well as fight for a rebound – his 132 offensive boards were fifth most this past season.

While it looks like he’s ready to step in right away offensively, his defense needs some work. But despite deficiencies on that end of the court, his size, athleticism and offensive prowess has him ready to make the jump to the NBA and he will almost certainly be drafted in the top four.