It had been thought that Corona Del Sol, winners of the last four-straight Division-I State Championships, would continue their current basketball dynasty for atleast another three high school seasons - for the remainder of the career of superstar 6-foot-11 sophomore post Marvin Bagley Jr. Corona may just be able to continue their dynasty, but now they will do it without Bagley and also former legendary coach Sam Duane Jr.
Duane retired from the Corona basketball program at the end of the 2014-2015 season, and decided he had enough of high school basketball. Now Bagley has decided to leave the impressive Aztecs' program - bolting for rising local prep basketball power Hillcrest Prep Academy. Bagley's father, Marvin Bagley Sr., just announced this weekend that he would become an assistant coach at Hillcrest, and would also be taking his superb younger son, 8th grader Marcus Bagley, with him.
Hillcrest Academy has received loads of talent over the past few months, as several top-rated prospects from Gilbert Christian HS also moved to the school recently. Terrific young guard prospect Jaden Lee and also talented 2017 wing prospect Nate Graville lead the group.
The school's head coach Nick Weaver is a terrific promoter of basketball talent and knows what it takes to operate a successful program. Weaver has quickly developed his prep program into one of the hottest prep schools in the country. Hillcrest will have loads of college coaches and media now coming through their school next season.
It looks as though the program will now have a national high school team, after the addition of the Bagley family. Hillcrest will immediately get matched up with the elite prep school programs in America, including national power Findlay Prep (NV).
It had been rumored that Bagley might not be happy at Corona, but they were just rumors. While they were just rumors, now the decision by the Bagleys to move on to a prep school will give everyone thoughts that he and teammat Alex Barcello did not get along. I am not sure that was the issue, as much as the lure to compete against nationally ranked competition. While Corona has been dominant in Arizona, with Bagley and Barcello together, they would continue to destroy the Arizona competition. Bagley wanted to improve as a player a great deal, and Marvin Bagley Sr. knows that it can only be done through playing against top-rated competion each night.
No prospect in the country, at any level, had the impact of Marvin Bagley this off-season, as he is now the consensus #1 player in America's 2018 class by every major national scouting service. Some basketball scouts in the country also have Bagley as the top overall prospect in America - regardless of class. Recently, on national television on ESPN, commentators listed Bagley among the top 5 overall NBA prospects in the prestigious Nike Peach Jam in Augusta, Georgia.
As a result, Bagley has received serious scholarship offers early, including big offers already from Duke and Kentucky. Every school in America would offer Bagley already, if they knew they might have a chance with the future NBA prospect. Bagley is so good already that chances of him even going to college could be in jeopardy, as he could do like several other top-rated national prospects before him and play overseas for a year instead. Who knows how Bagley's future will play out over time, but he has definitely made a case as the nation's premier performer already.
Barcello will now look to explode offensively at Corona - putting up very rare scoring numbers this high school season. He will need to if he wants a chance at a McDonald's All-American nomination in the future. Barcello has the ability to become a special type of player nationally, but he will need a stuffed stat-sheet to aid his pursuit.
Barcello is a special guard prospect with an advanced level of offensive skillsets. He is good enough to keep the Aztecs in the hunt next season, and with a supporting cast that includes senior guard Terrell Henderson (Portland State commit), gifted junior guard Saben Lee and several other strong supporters, the Aztecs will continue to be tough to beat.