Breaking down Marvin Bagley III’s debut with Duke

Photo: CBS

Much-ballyhooed freshman Marvin Bagley III made his Duke debut on Friday night, and man, this is what it must have been like to watch Artis Gilmore.

(If Artis was 18 years old, of course).

Bagley has the lanky size, athleticism, natural rebounding ability—even the ‘fro like the A-Train did back in the day. The highly-touted freshman went for 25 and 10 in his college debut, Duke’s 97-68 evisceration of Elon.

Bagley shot 12-of-18 from the field, dominating inside and generally making Elon’s bigs look like a bunch of eighth graders.

Get to know your 2018 NBA Draft Lottery Picks: Duke’s Marvin Bagley

He’s athletic, extremely long (shoutout @JayBilas), and agile in the post.

Of course, there’s plenty this kid can improve on. Like most bigs these days, he thinks he can shoot the 3-pointer, and wants to showcase that ability, although it’s forced. He’s not a natural three-point shooter, and shouldn’t be launching them from out there, though he’ll probably develop a jumper after a couple of years in the NBA, like most bigs nowadays.

He also tries to show off his ballhandling ability, and it’s okay–but definitely not a strength at this point. He also could have been tougher at times inside—short-arming a jump-hook and not finishing strong when he got right to the basket.

What the 18-year-old does do well is rebound, dominate the paint, finish sick alley-oops, and show off a world of promise. This kid could be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft this year, and he’s already shown enough to make the bet that be good in the league, at the very least.

Check out Bagley’s highlights from Friday night:


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