Indiana basketball recruiting: Mackenzie Mgbako commits as former Duke signee helps Hoosiers soar in rankings


Tommy Yarrish/247Sports

Indiana landed one of the top prospects in the 2023 class in a somewhat surprising announcement Friday. Fve-star forward Mackenzie Mgbako, the second-highest ranked uncommitted player in the cycle and a former Duke signee, chose the Hoosiers over Kansas and other potential suitors one month and a day removed from his Duke decommitment. 

Ranked as the No. 10 overall player in the 2023 class, Mgbako was viewed as one of the most coveted prospects on the market after his Duke decommitment, leading to Indiana, Kansas and others putting on the full-court press for his commitment. He made official visits to both in recent weeks and chose the Hoosiers on the heels of a trip to Bloomington, Indiana, earlier in the week, despite steam in the industry suggesting KU had emerged the frontrunner.

“Coach [Mike] Woodson and the staff were really genuine and focused on helping me achieve my goals,” Mgbako told 247Sports. “They made it clear that I was a priority and that I would be an asset on the squad.”

With the new commitment, Indiana’s 2023 class launches from No. 28 all the way up to No. 5. Mgbako joins four-star guards Gabe Cupps and Jakai Newton among incoming high school signees. Kel’el Ware, one of the top big men in the country who transferred in from Oregon, will also be a major contributor this season. 

Indiana is set to lose both Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino to the NBA Draft from a team that won 23 games last season. With Mgbako in the fold, IU and coach Mike Woodson have set themselves on a path to potentially replace lost production from Jackson-Davis, an All-Big Ten performer last season.

Mgbako initially committed and signed with Duke during his first round of recruitment but opted to open things back up earlier this year on the heels of Kyle Filipowski’s decision to return to the Blue Devils. With Jackson-Davis gone and the frontcourt in dire need of talent in Bloomington, he likely steps in as a day-one starter with a chance to showcase himself as a potential lottery pick in 2024.

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