The Duke Blue Devils were one of the stronger teams during the end of the regular season and through the conference tournaments in 2023, and they figure to be one of the favorites headed into next basketball season.
There was mixed news that was announced on Tuesday morning regarding their chances at making a deep run in 2024.
Filipowski Will Return, But Duke Loses Top Prospect
Respect my decision‼️ pic.twitter.com/qFxB7PefDI
— Kyle “Flip” Filipowski (@kylefilipowski) April 11, 2023
Kyle Filipowski was arguably the team’s most important player last season, and he had the statistics to back it up. The big man led Duke in scoring at over 15 per game, and was just shy of averaging 9 rebounds per for the year. He was the ACC Rookie of the Year, and was named the ACC Tournament MVP after averaging 20 points per in the four games.
Filipowski announced on Tuesday that he intended to return to Duke for his sophomore year as he looks to win the school’s first National Title in the post-Coach K era. New head coach Jon Scheyer has his best and most effective player back.
But there was some bad news that broke just about the time that the Filipowski decision was made public.
8th Overall Prospect Now Out On Duke
— Mackenzie Mgbako (@MackenzieMgbako) April 11, 2023
Mackenzie Mgbako is the 8th overall ranked player in the ESPN Top 100 recruiting class of 2023, and the power forward had committed to Scheyer and Duke nearly a year ago. But Filipowski’s return combined with the returns of other starters was sure to affect Mgbako’s role on the team, and he will be choosing to take his talents elsewhere.
It comes as a blow to Duke’s recruiting class for this coming year. ESPN had it ranked as the 2nd best class in the nation, which includes the 12th, 16th, and 25th ranked players as well. But Mgbako was the best of the bunch, and they’ll look to the future without his services.
They shouldn’t be in too much trouble. Duke currently stands as the outright favorite to win the National Championship in 2024, coming in with a +900 designation. With all of the players returning, they will be one of the most experienced teams, especially after making noise late in the season in 2023.
It is being reported that the Blue Devils will also be looking at center options through the transfer portal as well.
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