On Thursday night, Marvin Bagley III’s life will change forever. The former Duke big man, who spent a season with the Blue Devils before declaring for the NBA draft, is all but guaranteed to be one of the first players off the board during the 2018 event.
His performance during his sole season at Duke is the reason why: 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game — including a 39.7 percent mark from 3-point range — en route to ACC Player of the Year honors. That scorer’s touch and ability to hit from long range as a taller player are all traits that the 19-year-old hopes to leverage into a long and successful NBA career.
In an interview with CBS Sports college basketball analyst Matt Norlander, Bagley talked about various topics: why he believed he should be the No. 1 pick in the draft; the lessons he learned from his time at Duke; and why he signed with the Puma brand after being affiliated with Nike.
One point Bagley addressed head-on was the criticism among some observers of the game that he was a “bad defender” and lacked the consistency needed on that side of the ball to succeed in the league:
Everybody makes mistakes out there … You’re not going to be perfect on defense. People see one thing and see that, take it, put it out there … then it just trickles down to “Oh, he’s just a bad defender.” I think it’s all BS, to be honest, if I’m being completely honest. I don’t worry about it, though. Eventually people will see.
The NBA draft will be held on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. ET at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and will be televised on ESPN.