During a time of year where most high school students are busy choosing which new shoes to wear to the first day of class, Sheldon senior Marcus Bagley made a much bigger decision this past Monday.
Bagley, the Huskies’ dynamic 6-foot-8 guard/forward, announced that he will be signing a national letter of intent later this fall to play basketball at Arizona State following his graduation from Sheldon High School. After whittling his choices down to Arizona, Arizona State and Cal, respectively, Bagley’s decision to play at Arizona State doesn’t seem like a surprise whatsoever.
Bagley and his family, including Sacramento Kings’ forward/center Marvin Bagley III are from the state, with his grandfather, Joe Caldwell, having been a standout at the school from 1962-64. The Sun Devils’ basketball program is led by head coach and former Kings’ first round pick Bobby Hurley, who played collegiately at Duke University - coincidentally the same school where Bagley III attended.
Bagley was unavailable for comment on the big news, but the familiarity and comfort level likely played a huge role according to Huskies’ head coach Joey Rollings. “He grew up there, his mother’s family is from there, and they showed the most interest early on,” Rollings said. “I think it’s a good fit for him overall.”
Rollings noted that Arizona State appeared to be the team the most interested in Bagley from the start, which is always a good sign.
“I thought it was the best team that came after him, and if a team wants you that bad from the start, then you know you’re going to get to play.”
Rollings also said he doesn’t hound his players or hover over them while they make their decisions in situations like that. Overall, the biggest piece of advice he gave Bagley was probably the most simple.
“I told him if it’s where he thinks he can play, feel comfortable, and get a good education, then it’s the best fit for him.”
With Bagley announcing his intentions of attending Arizona State before the start of his senior season, there will likely be less of a burden on his shoulders compared to athletes who deal with that process while still juggling school work and their athletic responsibilities. Bagley figures to improve on his numbers from last season, where he averaged 19.9 points and 7.9 rebounds en route to leading Sheldon to its second-straight CIF Open Division state finals appearance.
“Either he makes the decision now or later, it doesn’t really make a difference with that,” Rollings said. “But now he can focus on basketball and get down to business.”