Mike Woodson pulled off a recruiting coup when he landed Mackenzie Mgbako in May.
Listed at 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds by Indiana, Mgbako is the highest rated recruit IU basketball has landed since Romeo Langford. He decommitted from Duke in April, and one month later he was a Hoosier.
A 2023 McDonald’s All-American, Mgbako arrived at IU this summer as a 5-star recruit, ranked No. 8 on Rivals, No. 9 on ESPN, and No. 10 on 247Sports.
Mgbako got to IU in early June and completed an eight-week program with the team and staff. Several of his teammates and Woodson have commented on what the New Jersey product should bring to the court when the ball tips in November.
The common themes are that Mgbako is a hard worker, plays with an aggressive style, he has good positional length, and he’s a shot maker from all three levels.
Here’s a sampling of what’s been said publicly by the IU players and head coach Mike Woodson about the 5-star forward:
Malik Reneau on Mgbako —
“He’s got great size, can shoot the ball well, drives and can finish with both hands. He’s got a great skill set, he can post up too. He just adds that boost to our team that we needed. It’s just a blessing to get Mgbako.”
C.J. Gunn on Mgbako —
“I think he brings his grit and aggressiveness to our team that challenges us every day to get better. We go against each other every day in practice, so just having that competition in practice, iron sharpens iron, so I’m gonna get better and he’s gonna get better. So when we’re out there and we’re actually in the game we’re going to be just fine. He’s a tough shot maker and he’s a great player and he’s a great player to play with. But we also have a lot to learn from each other and need to get more comfortable playing with each other for sure.”
Kaleb Banks on Mgbako —
“He’s a really good player. He’s a nice two-way player, and he can shoot the ball really well.”
Mike Woodson on Mgbako —
This is what Woodson said when Mgbako signed:
“Mackenzie is a dynamic player and an outstanding young man from a great family. He has the chance to have an immediate impact on our program. He’s a tremendous offensive player who gives us athleticism, length and the ability to be an inside/out threat. He can beat people off the dribble, rebound, run the floor and guard multiple positions.
More recently, Woodson commented on Mgbako’s work ethic on a podcast:
“He’s been on the floor. I don’t see much of him off the floor. He spends a lot of time in the gym.”
Woodson added that he expects Mgbako to play out on the wing in 2023-24.
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