Mackenzie Mgbako – Forward – 6’8 – Class of 2023
In a shocking turn of events, one of the most skilled players in the class of 2023 became available this week, and Louisville’s staff wasted no time in becoming the leaders of this race.
Mackenzie Mgbako was one of the first players to commit to the Blue Devils in the class of 2023, but Kyle Filipowski’s return for a sophomore season at the same position clearly made Mgbako question his commitment.
The 6’8 power forward has the size and the skills to make an immediate impact for the Cardinals next season.
Mgbako has almost everything you’re looking for in a modern 4. He’s got a great shot from the mid-range and the three-point line. He can attack with his dribble. He works hard on the defensive end, and he’s an aggressive rebounder. The only knock I’ve seen on this kid is he doesn’t have incredible athleticism, but, with his kind of size and polish, that’s something you can easily look past.
Currently, it seems like Louisville is the front-runner to land the top-ten recruit’s services, but there are a few other teams in the hunt.
Right now, it seems like it’s a two team race between the Cardinals and the Tar Heels. The Tar Heels biggest selling point is his former teammate at Roselle Catholic, Simeon Wilcher.
Wilcher is a top-40 recruit in the class of 2023, and it would make some sense for Mgbako to want to continue playing with his teammate while getting to spurn the Blue Devils twice a year.
But, the connections to Louisville seem to run deeper.
The biggest connection being Nolan Smith was Mgbako’s main recruiter when he committed to the Blue Devils. Smith has a great connection with the family, and it would make sense for them to follow Smith to the ‘Ville.
But the connections don’t end there.
Class of ’24 guard, and Louisville commit, TJ Robinson played AAU ball with Mgbako last year on the NJ Scholars squad, so Louisville also has a teammate connection, if Mgbako were to stay for more than a year.
And the final connection, Mgbako’s father is Nigerian, and Mgbako has spent time representing the Nigerian national team. The staff has recently put a focus on finding talent from Africa, so playing alongside Emmanuel Okorafor, and potentially Churchill Abass, would have to make Mgbako feel a little more at home in Louisville.
Signing Mgbako would be a slam dunk, home run, touchdown, a no doubt about it commitment for the Cardinals, and, right now, it seems likely that will happen.