Marvin Bagley III's PERSONALITY?
We aren't done analyzing this year's draft class, but our preliminary looks have led to us valuing Bagley as our potential #2 pick this year, after "My Name is Luka" Doncic ("don-chich"). We like to look at more than just the games we've seen him play (small sample disease), the highlights (even WORSE and super-biased small samples) from ESPN's Sportcenter, his stats (which can lie sometimes) and his YouTube videos (sheer marketing devices). Personality is important for us. We don't mean outgoing (Barkley) is better than shy (Kawhi), we just mean personality is like a "poker read" for us, it might tell us about his next 15 years in basketball and whether he might IMPROVE upon his god-given talents and previous work, or whether he might fall victim to the world's harsh treatment of NBA stars who are drafted high. Sometimes we can't find anything, and this may be the case, but this note is really just you watching us work-- so here goes nothing: (and we DO mean nothing, how the hell can we glean anything about the core of a human being from a few quotes? can we?)
As always, some music to enjoy while reading...
Marvin Bagley's reaction to our writing...
First, a comparative: Wendell Carter Jr
April 16, 2018
Wendell Carter Jr declaring for the draft said: essentially whatever his agent-written cue-card said. nothing to see here.
But Coach Krzyzewski said about Wendell Carter:
"He and his FAMILY were a true joy to have in our program and they'll always be in our program. ... sensational freshman year... has so much more potential. He's going to keep getting better... bc he has the best attitude. He really presented himself, his family, and Duke in a first-class manner, and whoever gets him is going to be very lucky".
Wow, that's strong words from Coach K, and you gotta love the family bit.
We don't mean that phony-assed "Duke family" routine, this is referring to Wendell's ACTUAL family, and we like that.
Keep in mind, this is a pre-written statement by Coach K, but so is a recommendation you get from a former employer when you interview for a job. That's what this is, and it's a factor-- we THINK (?).
Quit smirking Wendell, your Mom looks like the sweetest person-- her smile practically advertises "great person to be friends". She's darling. By the way, did you get the fncking hint they wanted you to follow Jeremy Lin's path into Harvard-- subtle... subtle... ....parents.... you gotta lovem.
Another comp: Grayson Allen
This quote from Coach K is after their tourney-ending loss tho...
"He's been our leader this year, he's one of the outstanding players to have ever played in our program".
Not as likable as his comment on WCJ, but this isn't a prepared reference reading, this is off-the-cuff post-game type stuff. Coach K certainly could have heaped more praise on Allen, so this might be telling warning (?). Random Thought: ya know, even if what Grayson did was actually "dirty", that would actually be a quality that translates rather well to the NBA assuming you are living up to your actual basketball skills. Just something to keep in mind before one dismisses Grayson Allen entirely as a draft prospect. Notice which picture we used for him? Yeah, he actually has a National Title under his belt, lest we forget-- and most have.!()
Did your lease on Suzanne Vega's sweet sweet voice end? Some more music to listen while reading on...
Marvin Bagley III
"No freshman has done more in his freshman year than Marvin. He's broken every record and he's really represented us at the highest level. I'm proud of him bc he came in late and he adapted... We wish him well. He's ready. I can only see great things happening for him."-- Coach K
Obviously Bagley's records stand on their own, he's a tremendous talent and we think he's probably the most talented athletic person in the draft. But this isn't exactly the greatest recommendation from Coach K and gives us pause ranking him at #2 despite his stats, videos, and play all supporting this ranking. While we don't lower his ranking on this quote, it allows us to more comfortably keep Luka Doncic ranked #1 on our draft board.
Let's do some deeper dive, and see what Coach K said after a reporter criticized Bagley's play as selfish and ball-hoggish.
Dan Dakich wrote "Bagley is all about Bagley... I can see in 18 minutes why Duke was able to go on a (winning games) run when he was hurt. You hate to say that about a kid, but he is about himself".
Coach K chimed in via Twitter and responded with something that clearly showed he would defend his kid, but didn't exactly REFUTE what Dakich wrote either. Coach K wrote w tongue in cheek,
"Just like everyone is entitled to write their own expense reports, it doesn't mean that what he (Dakich) says is true".
Coach K is referencing a timely news story regarding NBA Agent-gate wrt Louisville (et al), but it's what he does NOT say which concerns us a little. If Coach K were to refute instead of deflect criticism from his young star, he COULD have said something like "poppycock, Bagley plays his heart out and takes shots when he's open and is otherwise a team player which you can see from his selfless defensive play and his assist ratios-- I fricking LOVE this kid, he's the best I ever coached". We exaggerate for effect, just to compare to how he ACTUALLY defended his player.
OK, YOU decide, do we knock Bagley down a bit in the draft perhaps below Wendell Carter Jr (whom we now rank as 4th) and consensus-No.1 DeAndre Ayton? We're feeling the strong pull to downrank him on personality, but we admit we don't have the experience to really back up this demotion bc we're frankly new at evaluating how personality affects basketball career. Aggressive offense usually pays in the NBA, so it can ALSO be taken as a good thing if Bagley is greedy with the basketball. Surely, even LeBron gets criticism often that he should ball-hog more late in important game situations. It was only last night in Game 3 he seemed to be passing more than shooting late in the tight game (altho he also might've had some ankle issues). There's a guy named Kobe who has quite a few rings who was never shy about scoring, so should we put too much emphasis on the scant amount of comments we can find from a very respected coach who didn't win an NCAA title this year? Hmmmmm
MINUTES PLAYED. Wait, what??
We are suckers for what a coach can tell us when he's NOT TALKING; namely, what we can learn by the "minutes played per game" stat. A coach plays a player he finds indispensable, and it's why we've been fascinated with Quinn Cook ever since his 2018 title as a senior. What Duke's 2018 minutes tells us is Coach K played the HECK out of Bagley, whilst Wendell Carter Jr had significantly less minutes per game (26) despite not missing 5 games like Bagley did. Other than Coach K's preference for a senior (Grayson), Bagley played the most minutes per game and even with 5 missed games broke all the freshmen records. Sheesh, this kid is a serious talent. It's hard to pass on a talent like that, VERY hard. And did we ever intimate the NBA loves themself some offense (over defense)? Bagley's trade value will likely be higher even if other top 5 draftees contribute more to winning games in the first few years of their NBA play. Just stating reality here, we aren't total purists, we have respect for the situation in the world at the time of our decision.
Yet another consideration interrupting our topic
Personality guesses on limited information aside, our main question regarding Bagley is actually the effect of his team on his potential performance. You see, there's guys who are the ONLY main (or top 10) draft prospect on their team, and those guys tend to put up some serious numbers. Markelle Fultz's situation or Ben Simmons' were certainly a bit different than Bagley's. Bagley had to deal with another top 5 draftee named Carter in his starting 5, whereas guys like Markelle, Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr kinda dominated their college lineups. What if Bagley were on a team which relied on him even MORE than Duke did for scoring? Almost hard to fathom. This remains an open interest and un-answered question in our analysis, and probably deserving of some regressive stat-keeping to come to a conclusion.
But on sheer talent and performance, we still kinda favor Bagley above Ayton and WCJ and Jaren Jackson Jr. Some compare Bagley to Kawhi Leonard, but can Bagley be made to rank his defense above his offense the way Kawhi always seems to have done? We'd favor thinking there's only ONE Kawhi, that cat is about as unique as one can get. But Bagley is a bigger offensive talent and at an earlier age than Kawhi was, so....
Yeah man, we know what you're thinking from all this and we'll just answer the massive question you now have on your mind: YES. She's still fighting the good fight and we'll frontline your coming google search with this link...
Obviously you need to not read too much in our analysis here, we're seriously stretching here. But without attempts, you can't hope to make a long shot can you?
"My Name is Luka, I draft upstairs from you"-- he sings to all other draft prospects
Twitter quotes not linked, but we'll let you search for them on your own, they're there.