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David Robinson Says Duke's Marvin Bagley III Reminds Him of Tim Duncan

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2017

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 24: Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after scoring late in the second half of the game against the Texas Longhorns during the PK80-Phil Knight Invitational presented by State Farm at the Moda Center on November 24, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. Duke won the game 85-78. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs legend David Robinson said Duke freshman sensation Marvin Bagley III features some of the same qualities as former Spurs teammate Tim Duncan.

On Wednesday, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com passed along comments Robinson made about how well Bagley handles himself on the floor for such a young player.

"He reminds me a little bit of Tim Duncan in being so mature with the ball," he said. "He's got the same composure as a young Tim. I saw Tim in college at Wake, and he was phenomenal in terms of being patient. He never got rattled, and that's Bagley. He's the same way. Fantastic kid."

It's taken Bagley less than 10 games to prove he's already one of the best players in college basketball.

The 18-year-old Arizona native, who was rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2017 recruiting class by 247Sports' composite rankings, is averaging 22.3 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 59 percent from the floor across his first eight appearances for the Blue Devils.

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Robinson has gotten an opportunity to watch Bagley closely since his son, Justin Robinson, is a member of the Duke roster. He's impressed with the development of the forward's performance in the paint at a time when so many players, even big men, are relying on the outside shot, per ESPN.com.

"For such a young guy, he's very composed and patient in the post," he said. "He makes very wise decisions, which you just don't see at this age—18- or 19-year-old kids rush things. He gets the ball down low, takes his time. He's got great moves and great touch. He plays really hard. He's exceptional at that age, that's for sure."

Duncan, a five-time champion, 15-time All-Star selection and future Hall of Fame inductee, was much the same way. He provided the backbone for the Spurs' dynasty by making a major impact in the post even as the sport evolved to focus on the three-point shot.

The former Wake Forest standout was selected by San Antonio with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft to team up with Robinson, who retired in 2003 after winning his second title. He averaged 19 points and 10.8 rebounds across 19 years with the organization before his own retirement in 2016.

While it's going to take a long time to see whether Bagley can reach those type of heights, he could match Duncan by becoming the No. 1 draft pick in 2018. He's got competition for that spot from DeAndre Ayton, Michael Porter, Mohamed Bamba and Luka Doncic, though.

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