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ASU Basketball: Marcus Bagley Could Add Different Dimension To ASU Offense

The freshman could make a big impact for the Sun Devils.

The buzz surrounding Arizona State basketball this offseason has been electric. And how could it not be? The program signed their highest-rated recruit in Sun Devil history with No. 11 ranked Josh Christopher according to ESPN recruiting.

But Christopher wasn’t the only sought out recruit the Sun Devils signed. The buzz has been off the charts because ASU is bringing a dynamic duo to Tempe.

Consensus four-star recruit Marcus Bagley is the other half of this explosive equation.

Many know him as the talented younger brother of Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley. But Marcus’ ties to ASU go a lot deeper than him and his brother’s recruitment.

Their grandfather was an ASU legend. Joe Caldwell was getting buckets in the mid-’60s, averaging nearly 20 points (18.3) over the course of three seasons.

He later went on to be selected second overall in the 1964 draft by the Detroit Pistons. A feat his grandson Marvin accomplished 54 years later when he too was drafted second overall by the Kings.

Now it’s Marcus’ turn to make a run at the NBA, but it all starts with his growth in college.

His senior year at Sheldon High, Bagley put on a show averaging 22.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists. With eye-popping numbers like those, ASU feels like they stole Bagley from their competition.

“Marcus is rapidly developing. And we just feel very fortunate, I think to a degree when we were involved recruiting him, he was a little bit underrecruited,” Hurley explained on Jon Rothstein’s ‘College Hoops Today’ podcast. “Just the explosiveness that he has is pretty special. And then he’s a really good shooter. I mean, he can really make shots, and he had a terrific senior campaign in high school.

The incoming freshman is already one of the biggest matchup nightmares on the roster. At 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, Bagley’s size, and skill adds a different dimension to this ASU offense, which hasn’t been seen in a while.

His trampoline-like leaping ability, combined with his handles, fearlessness attacking the rim, and sweet stroke, makes Bagley the full offensive package.

As one of the smaller teams in the Pac-12, Bagley will have the opportunity to showcase his athleticism against slower big men. If ASU decides to go small, Bagley is strong enough to bang on the glass.

With his handle and speed, we might be seeing a few plays where Bagley grabs the rebound and initiates the offense, or goes coast-to-coast for a thunderous slam.

His ability to score at every level is not typical of an ASU frontcourt player. But most ASU frontcourt players also aren’t as highly touted as Marcus Bagley.

And it hasn’t taken long for coach Bobby Hurley to be wowed by Bagley’s talent either.

“Marcus Bagley has been here since [July 20],” Hurley told SunDevilSource. “I’m not sure I’ve seen a guy that has been more impressive as an incoming freshman with his ability to shoot. He’s draining shots at a ridiculous clip in our skill workouts right now.”

The only question now is whether Bagley’s offensive prowess will be in the starting lineup or off the bench. Either way, the duo of Christopher and Bagley should bring more fireworks to Tempe than the 4th of July.