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ASU’s Josh Christopher, Marcus Bagley named to ESPN’s top newcomers list

Josh Christopher #45 of Team Zion in action against Team Jimma during the SLAM Summer Classic 2019 at Dyckman Park on August 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Arizona State five-star guard Joshua Christopher was ranked by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello as the sixth-most impactful newcomer in college basketball.

He was joined on the 80-player list by fellow Sun Devil freshman forward Marcus Bagley, who placed 44th. Former ASU guard Romello White, who transferred to Ole Miss, ranked 26th.

The 6-foot-4 Christopher is the highest-ranked recruit in ASU’s history after he chose the Sun Devils over blue-blood programs like Kentucky, UCLA and Michigan.

Christopher played high school basketball at Mayfair High School in Lakewood, Calif., where he was an invitee to the 2020 McDonald’s All-America Game before it got cancelled because of the coronavirus.

ASU’s previous highest-ranked recruit was James Harden, who was the 21st-ranked recruit in 2007, according to ESPN.

Borzello believes Christopher could be a program-changing prospect for Bobby Hurley and is part of a deep backcourt with Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge returning for their senior seasons.

Christopher enters college with one of the most complete scoring packages in the 2020 class and is now part of maybe the most explosive perimeter group in the country.

Bagley is the only other Sun Devil to place on the list, though Portland State transfer Holland Woods was included as one of the next 10 impact newcomers.

Bagley chose ASU over in-state rival Arizona, UCLA, UNLV and USC after prepping at Sheldon High School in Sacramento, where he averaged 22 points per game as a senior.

Borzello believes that the 6-foot-7 Bagley can fill a crucial role with the Sun Devils this year, slotting in alongside the team’s guard-heavy roster.

The buzz surrounding Bagley has been growing for most of the past six months, and he’s going to provide a different dimension for the Sun Devils alongside their elite perimeter.

Woods was worth mentioning after averaging 17.7 points per game as a junior a season ago.

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