KU notebook: Top recruit Marvin Bagley plans to attend high school one more year

Marvin Bagley III, wearing number 35, competes in Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League in Indianapolis on Friday, April 28, 2017. Bagley played for Nike Phamily 17U. | Mike Fender |

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Marvin Bagley, the No. 1 prospect in the recruiting Class of 2018, says he has no intention of reclassifying to 2017 and playing college basketball during the upcoming 2017-18 season.

The 6-foot-10, 220-pound senior-to-be from Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, Calif., told reporters at the weekend’s Nike EYBL Memorial Day event in Los Angeles that he plans to attend Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, USC or UCLA after playing high school ball one final season.

“I’m just worried about getting better. I’m not worried about reclassifying. I’m just taking it day by day. Whatever happens in the future happens,” Bagley, who plays for Phoenix Phamily AAU, told Zagsblog.com at the Nike event.

Bagley is averaging 25.2 points, 14.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks a game in three Nike EYBL events. There has been talk he might have enough high school credits to join a college team at some point during the 2017-18 season. He has said that is unlikely, though the L.A. Times has reported that Bagley has not informed Sierra Canyon administration of his plans for the upcoming school year.

“I love playing basketball,” Bagley told D1vision.com. “I love getting better, staying in the gym. It’s the best thing I like doing. So I’m just enjoying the process, working hard and elevating my game.”

Asked specifically about KU and Kentucky by Zagsblog, Bagley said: “They’re great schools. I could say the same thing about each of the schools. They’re all great. They speak for themselves. They’re in the (NCAA) tournament. They play in big-time tournaments and games every year on ESPN. They’re both great places.”

Bagley — he played at Corona Del Sol High in Tempe, Ariz., then transferred to Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix before heading to Sierra Canyon — is regarded a certain one-and-done college player.

“I’m looking for a somewhere I could go and get better,” Bagley said. “That’s my main focus. That’s what I tell everybody. It’s not about the name. It’s not about all the news and the hype. It’s about where I can go and get better. Wherever that place may be out of my list is where I’ll go.”

Aaron Wiggins hears from Kansas

Aaron Wiggins, a 6-6 senior-to-be from Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, N.C., who is ranked No. 90 in the recruiting Class of 2018 by Rivals.com, tells the website that KU and Florida, “have been recruiting me pretty hard right now. Florida calls or texts every day and Kansas it’s the same right now too. USC is also starting to get involved. So those are the three new schools that have been really recruiting me.”

Wiggins — he’s not related to former KU guard Andrew Wiggins — also is considering Wake Forest, Maryland, Virginia,Virginia Tech and others. He plays for Team Charlotte AAU.

Days improving stock this spring

KU target Darius Days, a 6-7 senior-to-be from Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., has been playing well for the Florida Vipers at the Memorial Day weekend’s Under Armour event in Garden Grove, Calif.

“Days is due for a nice bump up from his current spot of No. 113 in the next set of rankings,” wrote Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “Days embraces the matchup he faces and figures out how to execute against it. He can make jumpers, is tough around the rim and is an all out competitor with a little bit of Draymond Green in his game.”

He has received offers from KU, Missouri, Georgia Tech, LSU, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Virginia, USC and several others, according to Rivals.com.

“Days looks capable of playing for pretty much any program in the country,” Bossi wrote.

KU fifth in USA Today poll

Kansas checked in at No. 5 — one spot behind Wichita State — in USA Today’s preseason Top 25 college basketball poll released on Friday.

Arizona is ranked No. 1, followed by Michigan State, Duke, WSU, KU, Kentucky, Florida, USC, Louisville, Villanova, North Carolina, Xavier, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Miami, Minnesota, UCLA, Saint Mary’s, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, Alabama, Butler, Missouri and Virginia.

“Devonté Graham’s decision to return will help coach Bill Self manage the losses of national player of the year Frank Mason and high-flying lottery pick Josh Jackson,” wrote USA Today’s Scott Gleeson. “Look for Graham to have a monstrous 2017-18, and for key cogs Lagerald Vick (7.4 ppg) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (9.8 ppg) to see much bigger roles in KU’s quest for a 14th consecutive Big 12 title.

“The new guy who could be a major difference-maker is Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman. He averaged 11.3 points a game for the Bulldogs and will undoubtedly be better after practicing with Kansas’ nation-leading backcourt while sitting out last season,” Gleeson added.”Arizona State transfer Sam Cunliffe will be eligible in midseason, too. Udoka Azubuike, a 7-0 sophomore who had a season-ending wrist injury, could be a force. Self’s recruiting class was so-so, with top-20 forward Billy Preston the top name.”

The Jayhawks were ranked No. 2 by ESPN.com and CBSsports.com and No. 3 by NBCsports.com last week, all the polls coming out to reflect the end of the spring signing period in recruiting as well as the deadline for college players to withdraw from the NBA Draft if they wish to retain college eligibility.

Jacobs’ brother dunks, too

Future KU player Markese Jacobs isn’t the only player in his family to complete a crowd-pleasing dunk at the Nike EYBL event in Los Angeles.

Demarius Jacobs, a 6-2 former Southern Illinois commit who has reclassified into the recruiting Class of 2018 and will join his brother Markese at Arizona’s Hillcrest Prep for the 2017-18 season, had the No. 1 dunk on the first day of the tourney, according to USA Today.

Demarius plays for Mac Irvin Fire’s 17 and under team, while 5-11 Markese is on the 16 and under squad.

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

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