A teenager’s college basketball decision in August could have an impact in April.
Marvin Bagley III, one of the nation’s top prep stars, announced Monday night on national television that he intends to reclassify to become eligible for this upcoming basketball season by forgoing his scheduled senior year of high school to enroll at Duke.
The decision likely will make Duke a preseason No. 1 in the polls and an early favorite to win the NCAA tournament. Bagley also could be a No. 1 NBA draft pick in 2018, which should make Bulls fans curious to watch the 6-foot-11 forward play.
Even Las Vegas oddsmakers bumped Duke’s odds of winning a national championship from 7-to-1 to 3-to-1.
But it’s important to remember the NCAA makes the final call on this.
The NCAA must first clear Bagley academically.
According to CBS Sports, Bagley still has coursework to complete before the NCAA can review his transcripts. Attending three schools in three years with a home-schooling stint could complicate matters for Bagley, who is aiming to join Duke in a few weeks for the start of the semester.
Duke’s season opener is Nov. 10 against Elon.
The Blue Devils were already considered a strong contender for the 2017-18 season. They return All-American Grayson Allen and a stellar recruiting class that includes four five-star players in Wendell Carter, Trevon Duval, Gary Trent, Jr., and now Bagley.
Bagley selected Duke over offers from USC, Arizona, Kansas, UCLA and Kentucky.
If Bagley is cleared, expect Duke to be the talk of the preseason and the favorite for the postseason.