Sunday, September 24 2023

The college basketball world is abuzz with rumors surrounding former Duke signee Mackenzie Mgbako, the Class of 2023’s No. 7 prospect and No. 2 power forward. Mgbako recently requested a release from his letter of intent, sparking speculation about his next move. Among the potential destinations is the University of North Carolina (UNC), the Tar Heels, Duke’s arch-rivals.

The Ultimate Betrayal – Mgbako From Duke to UNC?

The Tar Heels have had a rather lackluster season, failing to reach the NCAA Tournament. However, their prospects could significantly improve if they manage to secure the services of Mackenzie Mgbako. With his impressive 6-foot-8 frame and superb shooting skills, Mgbako could be the centerpiece UNC needs to make a strong comeback.

Mgbako’s decision to leave Duke came shortly after Kyle Filipowski, a potential first-round NBA draft pick, announced his return to the Blue Devils. Filipowski’s presence on the team would have inevitably impacted Mgbako’s role, making UNC an appealing option for the talented forward.

Though it’s still early days in Mgbako’s recruitment process, the Tar Heels already have a connection to the player. UNC has committed Simeon Wilcher, a four-star 2023 guard and Mgbako’s teammate at Roselle Catholic in New Jersey. This connection could play a crucial role in swaying Mgbako toward the Tar Heels.

Louisville and G-League Still Options for Mgbako

However, UNC isn’t the only contender in the race for Mgbako. Louisville has also expressed interest, thanks in part to the presence of Nolan Smith, a former Duke assistant coach who was part of Mgbako’s initial recruitment process. Smith’s connection to Mgbako, combined with Louisville’s need for star power, makes the Cardinals a strong contender.

It’s important to note that Mgbako is also considering bypassing college altogether and pursuing a professional career in the NBA G League. Travis Branham, a national recruiting analyst at 247Sports, believes Louisville and the pro route are currently the most likely options for Mgbako.

Nevertheless, UNC remains in the conversation, as the Tar Heels look to strengthen their roster in the transfer portal this spring.

With Mgbako reopening his recruitment process to all schools, it remains to be seen where he will ultimately land. Should he choose to join the UNC Tar Heels, it would be a significant coup for the team, and a major blow to their rivals at Duke.

The basketball community will be eagerly awaiting Mgbako’s decision, which could have significant implications for the Atlantic Coast Conference and college basketball as a whole.

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Source: Basketball Insider


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