The future is now.
Just a day after 2023 guard Tyrese Proctor announced his intentions to become a Blue Devil, Duke picked up another huge commitment from Mackenzie Mgbako, the No. 3 overall player and top small forward in the Class of 2023.
Head coach Jon Scheyer and his staff beat out Kentucky, Memphis and Ohio State for Mgbako. It was not a major surprise to recruiting analysts, though, as Duke received three crystal balls for Mgbako via 247 Sports Wednesday.
Mgbako is the fourth top-five recruit to commit to the Blue Devils since Scheyer was named the program’s next head coach in June 2021. Now that the 34-year-old has taken over after Mike Krzyzewski’s tenure came to a close in the Final Four, the priority likely concerns finalizing the 2022-23 roster and securing future top-tier commitments. Locking in Mgbako checks that second box with ease.
Mgbako is a prototypically smooth wing with an ability to score at all levels. The Gill St. Bernard’s junior has a smooth and compact jumper, can get to his spot off the dribble and possesses great footwork.
Despite being a self-described “point-forward”, the New Jersey native does not need the ball in his hands on every possession to be effective. Mgbako projects as a flexible cog in Scheyer’s scheme as a floor-spacer, slasher and screener.
Defensively, the 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward is light on his feet and is capable of defending guards along the perimeter. On the glass, Mgbako’s strength allows him to snag boards, and he can jump-start breaks with a hit-ahead.
Mgbako joins fellow top prospects Proctor, Caleb Foster, Jared McCain and Sean Stewart in Duke’s 2023 class.
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Max Rego is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor for The Chronicle's 117th volume.