If Roselle Catholic (N.J.) five-star small forward Mackenzie Mgbako ends up atop the 247Sports 2023 Composite, he would be the Duke basketball program's fifth top-ranked prize since 2014. The Blue Devil pledge would join Jahlil Okafor, Marvin Bagley III, RJ Barrett, and Dereck Lively II in this regard.
As things stand, Mgbako ranks No. 2 among rising high school seniors, below an uncommitted combo guard in Camden (N.J.) five-star DJ Wagner.
But Travis Branham of 247Sports recently polled more than 50 college coaches, and Mgbako received the most votes as the standout talent in the class this summer. That said, the results reveal a wide-open race:
- Mackenzie Mgbako (11 votes)
- DJ Wagner (10)
- Matas Buzelis (7)
- Aaron Bradshaw (5)
- Justin Edwards (4) and Xavier Booker (4)
Eight other prospects received at least one vote.
The 6-foot-8, 210-pound Mackenzie Mgbako, who announced his commitment to first-year Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer in April, sure appears to boast all the tools of a No. 1 recruit after averaging 16.2 points and 7.0 rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit this year.
He's long, lean, quick, and powerful, often using those features when posting up or gliding to the rim. In other words, Mgbako excels at seeking out easy baskets.
But the 17-year-old could separate himself from the pack with his smooth, quick-release outside stroke. And Mgbako might see open looks galore this season for Roselle Catholic while playing alongside one of the nation's premier guards in UNC basketball commit Simeon Wilcher (No. 13 overall on the 247Sports 2023 Composite).
Perhaps that duo will raise each other's stock, propelling the future Blue Devil to the top spot come spring.
Duke's 2023 haul remains No. 1 on the 247Sports Team Rankings. All four commits are five-stars: Mgbako, point guard Caleb Foster, shooting guard Jared McCain, and power forward Sean Stewart.
Stay tuned to Blue Devil Country for more Duke basketball recruiting updates.