This morning, the Duke Blue Devils basketball program got some huge news.
Kyle Filipowski revealed that he would be returning to Duke for a 2nd college basketball season after leading the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman with averages of 15.1 points and 9 rebounds per game.
While this was a huge win for the Blue Devils, it looks like it could also lead to a big loss for Duke.
After the Filipowski news was announced, 5-star 2023 recruit Mackenzie Mgbako shared a post announcing that he was formally requesting his release from his letter of intent.
— Mackenzie Mgbako (@MackenzieMgbako) April 11, 2023
“After long thought, prayers and discussions with my parents and trusted advisors, I am writing to formally request a release from my NLI to Duke University. While I have great appreciation and respect for the Duke coaching staff and fans for their interest in me, I feel that there will be other places for me to continue my basketball journey, so I will be re-opening the recruiting process to all schools. Sending a big thanks to all my supporters, friends, and family for continuing to show love.”
Mgbake is the 7th ranked recruit in the class of 2023 and the 2nd ranked power forward in the class. The expectation would have been for him to have an immediate impact wherever he committed, but that now looks like it would have been pretty difficult with Duke as Filipowski will remain their dominant post presence.
Even without Mgbake, the Blue Devils would still have a very strong recruiting class coming in. That class would still include 4 5-star players and would be the 2nd best class in the nation, behind only Kentucky.
If Mgbake once again hits the open market, he’ll get a ton of attention from around the nation and would pass Bronny James as college basketball’s top unsigned recruit.
Duke’s loss could be a big win for some team out there looking to improve in the paint.