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Top HS Star Darius Bazley Won't Play in G League Over College

Bazely will skip both college and the G League in preparation for the NBA draft.

McDonald's All-American Darius Bazley has altered his decision to forego college and enter the NBA G League, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Per Charania's report, the top-20 recruit from the class of 2018 will spend the year training without a college team or G League organization, preparing to enter the 2019 NBA draft.  

Bazley was expected to become the first highly-touted high schooler to enter the G League instead of playing college basketball, when he announced his plan to decommit from Syracuse and enter the professional ranks in April.

"Talking about it over with my group, we felt confidently that the G League wasn’t going to be needed and now I can use this time to work on my craft,” Bazley told The Athletic. “It’s mainly me talking to [agent] Rich [Paul], he knows so much, and whenever he speaks my ears perk up. When Miles [Bridges] was in Cleveland for his predraft workouts, whenever he got a chance to work out in front of NBA teams, I was working out in the gym, too. So that played a part in it, me playing well in those workouts for us to say there’s no upside in the G League."

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The 18-year-old Bazley was slated to sign a G League contract in October and then enter the league's draft. He would not be permitted to sign with any team of his choosing, possibly forced to join a G League team lacking in funding or development credentials. 

The 6'9" swingman would have been the first player to join the G League out of high school, but not the first to forego the NCAA en route to the NBA.

Brandon Jennings, Emmanuel Mudiay and Terrance Ferguson each opted to play overseas prior to the draft. Bazley now looks to follow the same path as Dante Exum and Mitchell Robinson, training without a team before entering the draft.