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Duke Recruiting: ESPN High On Mgbako, Stewart

Caleb Foster and Jared McCain also earned 5* status in the new ESPN100

Syndication: Ocala StarBanner
Windermere (13) Sean Stewart dunks over P.K. Yonge (22) Courtney Brown in the second half. Windermere defeated P.K. Yonge 69-39 in the Jim Haley Christmas Classic Monday night, December 20, 2021 in Ocala FL.

A few days after Rivals and 247Sports released updated rankings of the 2023 recruiting class, ESPN has followed suit.

The newest ESPN100 rankings list all four 2023 Blue Devil commits amongst the Top 20 recruits nationally. Both Mackenzie Mgbako and Sean Stewart were rated slightly higher by ESPN than either Rivals or 247, with Mgbako at No. 4 and Stewart at No. 7. Meanwhile, backcourt commits Caleb Foster and Jared McCain continue to show a bit more variance in their rankings across services: Foster is ESPN’s No. 13 player, while McCain is No. 16.

However, ESPN was a bit lower on T.J. Power, who by all accounts is Jon Scheyer’s top remaining priority in the class. Power is a 4* and No. 40 overall on ESPN’s list, while he was rated amongst the nation’s top 25 players by both Rivals and 247.

If Scheyer can reel in Power, the 2023 class would rival any in Duke’s history in terms of depth, with five consensus top 40 recruits (and the potential for that to improve if Power continues to ascend). The group also complements each other quite well, with Foster and McCain combo guards capable of playing side-by-side, Mgbako projecting as a small forward with NBA size if his shot continues to develop, Stewart an athletic power forward, and Power a multi-year forward who can play at either the 3 or 4 and would likely be a major bench contributor as a freshman.

The only hole in the class remains the center position. But given the sudden shift in JP Estrella’s recruitment, the most likely scenario is that the staff believes the 2023-24 starter at the 5 is currently on campus. Ryan Young will be eligible to return for a sixth year in 2023, expected redshirt Christian Reeves is a legit 7-footer who was a 4* recruit according to some, and there remains a non-trivial possibility that Kyle Filipowski may not be a one-and-done if his game doesn’t appear to fit that of a modern NBA big.