Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
“Yeah, I was really shocked, I think the whole country was shocked that they went out,” Duval told me of Arizona in the Duke locker room at PPG Paints Arena. “But it’s March, so things like that happen.”
The 6-foot-11 Bagley is now projected as the No. 4 pick in the Draft via ESPN.com, while the 6-3 Duval is at No. 41.
Like Ayton and Young, their season could end at any time in the next three weeks.
“Hopefully we don’t lose but seeing guys like that I know and have played against go out early in the tournament, it does kind of motivate me and my team to keep it going because those are really good players and they play on really good teams,” Duval said. “So for that to happen it is a motivation for us. ”
Bagley agreed, but says he feels this team has what it takes to win Duke’s sixth NCAA championship and second of the one-and-done era.
“Yeah, it’s tough to lose in the first round,” Bagley told me in the Duke locker room. “But I think I’m going to use that as motivation and the rest of us obviously don’t want this to end, so it’s motivation for everybody to go as long as we can. And I have a feeling that we can do that.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has grown accustomed to recruiting and coaching one-and-done players, knows the season can end abruptly at this time of year.
“One game, it’s the beauty of this tournament,” he said. “This tournament is a great, great tournament, because everybody’s got a chance. Everyone who gets in has a chance.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.