ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL

ASU freshman Marcus Bagley is ready to carry on family legacy in Tempe

Nov 21, 2020, 9:25 AM | Updated: 9:28 am

ASU freshman forward Marcus Bagley is ready for his freshman campaign in Tempe.  (Photo courtesy of...

ASU freshman forward Marcus Bagley is ready for his freshman campaign in Tempe. (Photo courtesy of Marcus Bagley Twitter's account)

(Photo courtesy of Marcus Bagley Twitter's account)

ASU freshman Marcus Bagley discussed his family’s basketball background and his relationship with Remy Martin during a Zoom call with reporters on Thursday.

The four-star recruit is the grandson of former ASU star “Jumping” Joe Caldwell and the younger brother of Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III.

Marcus Bagley said he’s not concerned with carrying on his family’s legacy, as he’s grown up around the game and has gotten used to having his game compared to his brother and grandfather’s on-court exploits.

“That’s something that I’ve been dealing with for a minute,” he said. “Coming up and everybody knowing me as Marvin Bagley’s little brother or Joe Caldwell’s grandson and stuff like that. But I made it a point to just focus on being the best me.

“I don’t really try to listen to that kind of [talk]. Right now I’m just focused on getting better on both ends of the court so people will remember my name.”

The ASU freshman also addressed his background with Martin, as the two played together for a season at Sierra Canyon School in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Chatsworth.

He said that the two share a strong bond from their time together, combined with the knowledge that Marcus Bagley has already gleaned from Martin in practice.

“We knew each other for years, so I know he’s doing a good job of leading us and he’s going to continue to do that,” the ASU freshman said.

“He’s proven in this Pac-12 league and in the country that he’s one of best point guards nationwide, so I trust him and we have a good relationship going into this year.”

Arizona State will likely have to rely on Marcus Bagley to play the combo guard/forward role this year, with Martin, fellow freshman Josh Christopher, Alonzo Verge Jr. and Portland State transfer Holland Woods all likely to play heavy minutes at guard in 2020-21.

Such a reality doesn’t faze Marcus, who reiterated his belief that he and Christopher comprise the best freshman duo in the country during Thursday’s call.

“We’re freshmen but we’ve been doing a little leading where we can and we put in the work together,” Bagley said. “We’re working on our chemistry and are good friends off the court. So I just don’t see a weakness that we have. We’re both two-way players, so both offensively and defensively we can get things done.

“And most importantly, we’re not selfish. We’re bought into the team idea and we’re just focused on winning. That’s both of our No. 1 goals and I think that’ll take us far.”

At the end of the day, Marcus Bagley is excited to take the court at Desert Financial Arena for the first time, becoming the third member of his immediate family to play college basketball.

The freshman spent much of his childhood around the Sun Devils’ program and understands how much a successful season would mean to fans in and around Tempe.

And Marcus is ready to hit the ground running.

“I’m expecting to play in one of the best conferences in college basketball, that’s what I’m working for right now,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys coming out of the Pac-12, going into the draft and getting picked. So I’m just ready to get out there and play.

“I’ve been wanting to play there since it was the Pac-10. So now to get the opportunity, I’m not going to take it for granted and I’m going to do the best that I can to get the job done with my teammates.”

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ASU freshman Marcus Bagley is ready to carry on family legacy in Tempe