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Elite junior Mackenzie Mgbako verbally commits to Duke, giving Blue Devils five five-star commitments in Class of 2023

Elite junior Mackenzie Mgbako announced his commitment to Duke on Friday, giving the Blue Devils five five-star pledges in the 2023 class, including two in just over 24 hours.

Five-star junior point guard Tyrese Proctor, originally from Australia, signed up against Duke on Thursday night.

Mgbako chose Duke from the final four which also included Kentucky, Ohio State and Memphis.

“I think that’s the best he has. The style of play suits him very well,” said Mergin Sina, Mgbako’s coach at Gill St. Bernard’s School in New Jersey. “They plan to play a spread-type offense. Mackenzie brings a lot of versatility on both sides. When Duke signed him, the whole staff came. They were very serious at the start of the process.”

A 6-foot-8 small forward from New Jersey, Mgbako is ranked No. 3 in the 2023 class — and the No. 1 small forward in the nation. Playing against an age group last summer, Mgbako averaged 16.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12 games with the NJ Scholars base program on the Nike EYBL Tour.

Mgbako made a name for himself as a point shooter, finisher and someone who made an impact in the transition game. Its jumper features strong leg lift, shot preparation, and shooting mechanics.

He will be effective in several places as a shooter. Mgbako is a dangerous shooter as he combines excellent positional size as a small forward with a clean release and confident mechanics.

It can be used in dribble transfers, ball screens or detection of dribble penetration and flight screens. His rider sets up his practice game.

The next step for him is to become more fluid with the ball to shake off defenders after catching in the half court.

“His ball handling and rebounding has taken another step forward,” Sina said. “He’s a gym rat who’s always in the gym.”

Mgbako is the highest ranked junior already engaged at this stage of the cycle. Joining Mgbako and Proctor are Sean Stewart (#13), Caleb Foster (#19) and Jared McCain (#22).

Of the nine five-star players signed in 2023, five are heading to Durham. New Duke coach Jon Scheyer landed the No. 1 recruiting class in 2022 — and now has a huge lead in the race to be No. 1 in 2023.

Of the 11 players who have signed up with the Blue Devils since Scheyer was named standby coach, eight have been rated as five-star prospects, including 10 of 11 inside the ESPN 100.


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