Predicting the 2023 Duke basketball recruiting class

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Predicted 2023 Duke basketball recruiting prize: Mackenzie Mgbako

Gill St. Bernard’s (N.J.) small forward Mackenzie Mgbako is a silky long-range shooter and explosive athlete. After a notably productive summer in AAU play, he recently rose from No. 6 to No. 3 overall on the 247Sports 2023 Composite.

He has already taken an official visit to Duke. That trip was in early September, and Mgbako was alongside Caleb Foster, whose commitment came shortly afterward.

Furthermore, between the 247Sports Crystal Ball and Rivals Futurecast, all seven expert predictions point to the 6-foot-8, 185-pound five-star eventually joining Foster as a future Blue Devil. And it’s perhaps significant that there was no budging among the prognosticators after Mgbako attended Kentucky’s annual Big Blue Madness celebration earlier this month.

In late September, one of those prognosticators, Rob Cassidy of Rivals, explained the confidence level in his pick:

“Mgbako has seemed like a Duke lean for months…[He] was incredibly high on the Blue Devils before the program even made things official with an offer in June. Since then, however, things have moved quickly. Mgbako expressed excitement over the upcoming Jon Scheyer Era during a mid-June interview with Rivals and took his official visit to Durham on Sept. 2.”

Cassidy continued, pointing out that the Mgbako decision timeline may still be unclear but not so much when it comes to pegging the Duke basketball staff as the current frontrunner:

“That [Duke] trip seems to have galvanized the bond between [Mgbako] and the Blue Devil staff. So while Mgbako is yet to set a decision date, it’s going to require a strong and aggressive move by another school to beat out Scheyer.”

Now, let’s examine another predicted Blue Devil — at least in the eyes of Ball Durham here — whom Scheyer didn’t extend an offer to until last week.