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Recruiting roundup: Duke men's basketball earns a pair of 5-star 2023 commitments

Duke boasts the top-ranked recruiting classes in both 2022 and 2023.
Duke boasts the top-ranked recruiting classes in both 2022 and 2023.

In anticipation of the first year of Jon Scheyer’s tenure as head coach this winter, the Blue Zone breaks down the incoming recruiting classes and more:

Duke lands 2023 recruits Proctor, Mgbako

This past week was filled with excitement for Blue Devil fans. On back-to-back days, head coach Jon Scheyer brought in major recruits, with five-star Australian guard Tyrese Proctor and No. 3 overall recruit Mackenzie Mgbako committing to join the Blue Devils in 2023. These two join Caleb Foster, Jared McCain and Sean Stewart, all of whom have already committed, to shape Scheyer’s second top recruiting class in as many years. 

Proctor brings his talents all the way from Australia, following in the footsteps of former Blue Devil forward Jack White. Standing at 6-foot-4, he boasts impressive guard skills and a strong frame, giving him an advantage over other guards, particularly on the defensive end. The biggest leaps in his game have come within his playmaking, as he thrives in the pick and roll and has recently developed outside of that area as well. His most impressive skills, however, are his shot creation, ability to stop and start on a dime and use of his size to back down opposing players to open himself up. Proctor is joining a guard-heavy class in 2023, so expect to see some competition for minutes by the time his freshman season begins. 

As for the 6-foot-8 Mgbako, he comes in as the top-ranked small forward in the 2023 class.  He’s drawn some comparisons to Jayson Tatum on the recruiting trail, an idea that should excite Blue Devil fans now that he has committed to take his talents to Durham. He plays with fluidity, can control both the wing and the paint and is a threat from beyond the arc. He will likely continue to develop over the next year, but he already has the impressive skills to make him one of the more exciting players for Duke in the future.

2022 class shines in Nike Hoop Summit

Shortly after Mgbako’s commitment Friday, he and Proctor took the floor for Team World against Team USA at the Nike Hoop Summit, going up against players from the 2022 class such as Dariq Whitehead, Dereck Lively II and Kyle Filipowski. Duke’s future had a big showing in the game, with all five impressing on the floor.

In the first quarter, it was Filipowski who brought Team USA back from an early deficit, grabbing eight rebounds across the game and five in the opening 10 minutes. Whitehead dropped 17 points for Team USA and finished as its second-highest scorer on the night. 

The Nike Hoop Summit wasn’t the only time in which Whitehead has shined among other stars, though. In the McDonald’s All-American Game—in which fellow 2022 recruit Mark Mitchell dropped a game-high 19 points—Whitehead won MVP after scoring 13 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out seven assists. His all-around game should excite Blue Devil fans.

Beyond just the incoming recruiting classes, Duke is rumored to have been eyeing a few players in the transfer portal. For now, Duke has been linked with many guards, such as Kansas State’s Nijel Pack and SMU’s Kendric Davis, as well as big man Johni Broome from Morehead State putting the Blue Devils among his top eight preferences as he looks to make his transfer decision.

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