Five-star Mackenzie Mgbako visits Indiana ahead of final trip to Louisville | Zagsblog
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Friday / June 21.
  • Five-star Mackenzie Mgbako visits Indiana ahead of final trip to Louisville

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    Five-star former Duke commit Mackenzie Mgbako visited Indiana over the weekend and will take his final scheduled visit to Louisville beginning Friday, sources confirmed.

    He has previously visited St. John’s and Kansas.

    “Coach [Mike] Woodson obviously has the NBA background which could be very appealing to a player who projects as a 1st-round pick,” said Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff, who has won four New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles and is headed to a new coaching job next season.

    Indiana currently has two commits in 2023 in point guard Gabe Cupps and shooting guard Jakai Newton, along with three transfers in forward Anthony Walker (Miami) and centers Ke’lel Ware (Oregon) and Payton Sparks (Ball State).

    As for Louisville, assistant coach Nolan Smith has been the point man for Mgbako after initially recruiting him at Duke.

    “They think he can be the start of something special down there,” Boff said.

    The 6-foot-8 Mgbako played for the NJ Scholars Nike EYBL team alongside D.J. Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw, both of whom considered Louisville before committing to Kentucky.

    “Mackenzie’s combination of size and athleticism coupled with his ability to shoot the ball will make him an impact player at the next level,” Scholars coach Jason Harrigan told ZAGSBLOG. “He works hard on his game and is a competitor.”

    Kansas coach Bill Self, who owns two NCAA championship rings, sees Mgbako as a potential replacement for freshman Gradey Dick, an elite shooter who declared for the NBA Draft. Kansas has already added Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, Towson transfer Nick Timberlake and Texas transfer Arterio Morris.

    “Coach Self has done a great job recruiting Mackenzie since he reopened his commitment,” Boff said. “They have presented a good plan of how he can impact their program this upcoming season and also develop him for the future.”

    St. John’s coach Rick Pitino has added seven transfers and 2023 wing Brady Dunlap since taking over. Mgbako’s first visit was to St. John’s.

    “Very few coaches check all the boxes for someone like Mackenzie better than Coach Pitino,” Boff said. “He has an amazing track record of winning and developing NBA talent.”

    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

    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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