In case you (somehow) missed it, Indiana added a huge piece of its 2023 recruiting class last week with the commitment of Mackenzie Mgbako. Now that the five-star, top-ten prospect has signed his NLI to Indiana, let’s take a look at his game.
Before jumping into the film itself, it’s worth noting the sheer quantity and quality of the video available on this kid as a true testament to the caliber player he’s projected to be. Over a year ago, he was being interviewed by NBA DraftExpress, and you can also find footage of him competing for Team World against Team USA in the Nike Hoop summit.
Simply put, Mgbako is an elite player who has been attracting the attention of NBA scouts for a long time now. Barring the unexpected, he will play one year at Indiana before going pro.
Aside from his 6’8” frame, the thing that scouts like the most about Mgbako is his shooting stroke. He has an easy, repeatable with a high release point that allows him to get shots off with smaller defenders in his face.
As with any shooter, his percentages are higher when he has time and space to collect himself before the shot, but his size on the wing and willingness to take some contested shots is something the Hoosiers haven’t had in a long time.
Indiana men’s basketball scouting reports
Another thing that stands out about Mgbako is his ability to create shots for himself and teammates. He’s not quite a point-forward, but he is comfortable with the ball in his hands
His shooting stroke translates to these drives too, as he’s a threat to pull up and score from any point on the floor. While stats geeks are quick to point out the inefficiency of long 2s, Mgbako can knock down these shots from the soft spots in the defense in a way that will challenge the Big Ten teams (looking at you, Purdue) who like to clog the paint on defense.
With Kel’el Ware and Malik Reneau expected to start alongside him, it’s probably safe to assume Mgbako will mostly be driving from the wing, which should showcase his athleticism best, allowing him to exploit the smaller or less athletic matchups he’s sure to draw in the Big Ten.
Considering the dearth of elite wing talent in the conference over the last decade or so, it’s hard to come up with a good player comparison for Mgbako. I don’t think Indiana’s had a wing this big and athletic since Troy Williams, who definitely did not enter college with the shooting stroke Mgbako has.
Adding Mgbako to the roster should help modernize Indiana’s offense, especially with another dynamic front court player alongside him in Kel’el Ware. He’s a prototypical NBA wing with his size, athleticism, and shooting ability whose presence on the court will be a nightmare in a conference full of one-dimensional forwards.
He may only be here for one year, but Mgbako certainly has the talent and skillset to make a major impact during his short time in Bloomington.