Five-star former Duke commit Mackenzie Mgbako sets 4 visits beginning with St. John's | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / May 28.
  • Five-star former Duke commit Mackenzie Mgbako sets 4 visits beginning with St. John’s

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Five-star former Duke commit Mackenzie Mgbako has set visits to four schools beginning with St. John’s on Friday.

    The 6-foot-8 wing from Roselle (NJ) Catholic and the NJ Scholars Nike EYBL program is also slated to visit Kansas, Indiana and Louisville.

    Led by new coach Rick Pitino, St. John’s gets the first visit this weekend. Pitino is overhauling the roster after taking over and has already added five transfers, including three from his former school Iona in Daniss Jenkins, Cruz Davis and Quinn Slazinski, as well as former UConn guard Nahiem Alleyne and VMI transfer Sean Conway. The Red Storm are also in the mix for several other players, including Niagara transfer Noah Thomasson, who is set to announce May 10.

    Speaking during halftime of the Knicks game on Sunday at the Garden, Pitino said he has to “build a brand through your defense and through people who really want to be at St. John’s.”

    Kansas coach Bill Self sees Mgbako as a potential replacement for freshman Gradey Dick, an elite shooter who declared for the NBA Draft.

    Louisville is hoping to improve its roster under coach Kenny Payne after a 4-28 campaign last season. Assistant Nolan Smith was involved in recruiting Mgbako to Duke.

    At Indiana, Mgbako could help fill the void left by Miller Kopp, who made 63 3’s last season.

    A McDonald’s All-American who also played for the World Team in the Nike Hoop Summit, Mgbako asked for his release from Duke earlier this month after freshman big man Kyle Filipowski announced he would return for his sophomore season, making Duke’s frontcourt even more crowded. The Blue Devils are also bringing back Mark Mitchell while adding incoming forwards T.J. Power and Sean Stewart in the 2023 class.

    Mgbako, who transferred to Roselle Catholic from Gill St. Bernard’s before last season, plays with the NJ Scholars Nike EYBL program. He is ranked the No. 2 power forward in his class by 247Sports.com.

    He initially chose Jon Scheyer and the Blue Devils over Ohio State, Kentucky and Memphis.

    Mgbako scored 13 points when the Lions won the Non-Public B state title over St. Rose on March 3. He averaged 16.3 points and 9.2 rebounds in 16 games en route to All-State honors this season at Roselle Catholic, the top-ranked team in New Jersey.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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