Top shared recruiting target sees Duke basketball beat Cats

Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

With its win, Duke basketball likely didn’t hurt its chance with a recruit.

There have been reports of Montverde (Fla.) power forward KJ Evans planning an official visit to Durham this month. But there is no word yet of a Duke basketball offer in the hands of the 6-foot-9, 200-pound five-star, who ranks No. 2 on the 247Sports 2023 Composite and picked up a Kentucky offer during his trip to Lexington last weekend.

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Therefore, at least at the moment, the top shared target among recruiting powers Duke and Kentucky on the 2023 trail remains Gill St. Bernard’s (N.J.) small forward Mackenzie Mgbako. The versatile playmaker sits one notch below Evans at No. 3 overall in the class after taking official visits to both Duke and Kentucky in recent months.

A thrilling Duke basketball victory in front of Mackenzie Mgbako

Now, not only do the Blue Devils maintain a 4-0 lead inside the 247Sports Crystal Ball for Mackenzie Mgbako, but they might’ve helped their efforts in the race via Tuesday’s 79-71 W over Kentucky at the Champions Classic in Madison Square Garden.

According to a photo in the 6-foot-8, 185-pound five-star’s recent Instagram Stories, Mgbako was in attendance with a midcourt view of the game.

All three picks inside the Rivals FutureCast also show the Blue Devil staff as the frontrunner for Mgbako. Meanwhile, Duke chief-in-waiting Jon Scheyer has already snagged one 2023 pledge in five-star point guard Caleb Foster.

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In addition to the offer to Mgbako, the Duke Blue Devils are pursuing six other high school juniors: five-star shooting guard Jared Mccain, five-star small forward JJ Taylor, five-star small forward Matas Buzelis, five-star small forward Taylor Bowen, five-star power forward Gregory Jackson, and four-star power forward Sean Stewart.