Mackenzie Mgbako Signs to Indiana Basketball Team ESPN

Mackenzie Mgbako Signs to Indiana Basketball Team – ESPN – ESPN

Jeff Borzello and Paul Biancardi May 12, 2023 5:54 pm ET2 Minute Read

Top-10 senior Mackenzie Mgbako, who retired from Duke last month, announced Friday that he will play basketball for Indiana this season.

Mgbako chose the Hoosiers over Kansas. He also previously attended St. John’s and thought about Louisville before focusing on his last two schools.

He originally signed to Jon Scheyer and Duke in April 2022, but resumed his recruitment shortly after potential first-round pick Kyle Filipowski announced he was planning to return to the Blue Devils.

“My decision will enable me to thrive and thrive,” Mgbako told ESPN. “The team showed a lot of love and I trust them. They have a need for my game.

Mgbako spoke to Carmelo Anthony, who played for Indiana coach Mike Woodson while he was with the New York Knicks. He said Anthony told him: “[Woodson] is a real guy. But on the pitch he will push you.

Mgbako’s name, image and opportunities to see him in Bloomington also played a role in his decision.

“It goes hand in hand with the decision,” he said. “You get paid for what you love to do. Indiana has great NIL opportunities.”

Mgbako is a 6’2″ forward from Roselle Catholic High, New Jersey and is ranked 9th on the ESPN 100 for the class of 2023. He is considered one of the best offensive players in the country and scored on the Nike last spring and summer EYBL stretch with the NJ Scholars averaging 16.5 points and 7.6 rebounds.

Mgbako also excelled at the recent Nike Hoop Summit, finishing the game with 22 points and eight rebounds for the World Select team. He was also selected by McDonald’s All American.

Mgbako brings a high shooting ability and is particularly strong within the arc with long two-pointer throws and shots from medium distance. He has proven to be a strong catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter. His strength and readiness allows him to bounce off either end of the field, and Indiana can use him as either a screener or ball handler in ball-related situations.

Mgbako is Indiana’s highest-ranked recruit since No. 5 contender Romeo Langford signed to the Hoosiers in the 2018 class. He joins a six-man group of newcomers that includes ESPN 100 point guard Gabe Cupps, four-star shooting guard Jakai Newton and transfers include Kel’el Ware (Oregon), Payton Sparks (Ball State) and Anthony Walker (Miami). Coach Mike Woodson has to replace four starters from last season’s NCAA tournament team, including USA’s Trayce Jackson-Davis and potential lottery winner Jalen Hood-Schifino.

Indiana was not ranked in ESPN’s most recent Way Too Early Top-25, although the addition of Mgbako likely puts the Hoosiers one perimeter scorer away from heightened preseason excitement.

Ron Holland, the second-place senior who applied for his release from Texas earlier in the spring, is now the only remaining top-50 contender in the 2023 class.