There may be no better player in college basketball this year than Duke's Marvin Bagley III. A finalist for the Naismith Trophy and the Wooden Award, Bagley is averaging 21.1 points and 11.5 rebounds for the No. 5 team in the country.
He's doing all of this as a freshman. Even more impressive, he had to reclassify to the class of 2017 to even play for the Blue Devils this season. He will be one of the youngest players to be drafted into the NBA this year and is not shy about saying where he stands among the other top prospects.
"I think I'm No. 1," he told Bleacher Report. "That's the reason I play the game. … I mean this humbly, but I want to be the best player ever to play the game."
Bagley is certainly in contention to be the No. 1 pick along with Arizona's DeAndre Ayton, Texas' Mo Bamba and Slovenia's Luka Doncic. He may not be a consensus top overall pick, but he has shown with the Blue Devils that he is a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the floor.
Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel has been impressed by the young man both on and off the court.
"He has a very unique view of the world. He has a big heart, a really wonderful heart," Capel said. "He's obviously an incredibly talented player, but he's also a really, really, really amazing kid. He's able to feel deeply. He can think deeply."
Bagley III gets his first shot at March Madness Thursday at 2:45 p.m. ET when he and the Blue Devils take on Iona in the first round. His performance in the tournament will likely not change how he is regarded among scouting circles, but for those who haven't seen him play, he will show them exactly who he is.
Mike Krzyzewski has a pretty good idea.
"He and his family have great values," the Hall of Fame coach said. "He'll have a lot of good things to say while he's enjoying what I think will be a very productive NBA career."