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Commitment breakdown: Mgbako is latest five-star to choose Duke

Duke continued to gear up for the post-Mike Krzyzewski Era with another massive recruiting win on Friday evening. This time, the news is that the Blue Devils have landed No. 2 overall prospect McKenzie Mgbako, who will likely arrive in Durham as one of the most celebrated freshmen in the country. Below, has a look at what the news means for Jon Scheyer’s program, which beat out fellow finalists Ohio State, Memphis and Kentucky to land the class-of-2023 star.


A first-off-the-bus type of player, Mgbako is equipped with the kind of fame that gets NBA people talking, but the 6-foot-8 forward is more than just size-based upside. He’s an well-above-average athlete that runs well, puts the ball on the floor and impacts games in a long list of ways. His slashing ability, rebounding numbers and defensive versatility have always been his calling cards and remain a major part of his game, but Mgbako has become a much better shooter over last year as well. He’s a walking double-double threat that will take the next step when he learns to dominate in the fashion of which he’s capable every time he takes the floor, as he sometimes defers too much and is prone to the occasional quiet offense game because of it. Mgbako is a motivated rebounder and versatile defender capable of staying in front of smaller guards for a bit when he gets caught on one in a switch, but his real defensive impact comes in the form of blocking shots on the interior. He’ll look to become more assertive and more consistent from long range in the year ahead.


It’s becoming difficult to come up with new thoughts about Duke’s historic run on the recruiting trail, as there’s only so much one can say about a first-year head coach who is yet to sit in the big chair for a game landing six five-star prospects in classes of 2022 and 2023. Alas, here we are. Duke’s Jon Scheyer signed the No. 1 2002 class and has already followed that up by landing two five-stars and two four-stars in the class of 2023. The situation speaks volumes about the confidence in the new era of Duke Basketball among prospects and decision makers in the recruiting world. Landing Mgbako should also quell some chatter about Scheyer struggling to recruit at this level without the help of assistant Nolan Smith, who left the program for Louisville earlier this week. Mgbako gives Duke’s 2023 class a versatile forward with an NBA future to pair with a versatile and well-rounded backcourt consisting of strong scoring guard Caleb Foster and, a pass-first facilitator with elite court vision Australian import Tyrese Proctor. Perhaps the most impressive part of this recruiting run is the fact that Scheyer has landed in-demand players with wide-ranging skill sets that seem to check every box when their strengths are meshed together. Games aren’t played on paper, but the rest of ACC would be in serious trouble if they were.


“I love Coach [Jon] Scheyer. He’s a good guy and he’s been coaching under Coach K for a long, long time. Duke is still gonna be Duke under him. I’m not worried about that.” – Mgbako to following his visit to Duke