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Filipowski In, Mgbako Out: How Does That Work For Duke?

Pretty well, all things considered

Florida State v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Jon Scheyer talks with Kyle Filipowski #30 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Cameron Indoor Stadium on December 31, 2022 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 86-67.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Tuesday was a day of dramatic developments for Duke Basketball as Kyle Filipowski announced he would stay and Mackenzie Mgbako asked to be released from his national letter of intent.

The immediate question is kind of ruthless: did Duke come out okay on that exchange?

And we’d have to say yes - at first glance, anyway.

As a freshman, Filipowski put up 15.9 ppg and 8.9 boards. He could have shot better but that will improve with time.

He’s got a great shot next year of being a 20/10 player.

And no one knows what, exactly, what to expect out of Mkbago. People always think they do, but you never really know what a young player is going to do. Everyone’s staff misunderstands,underestimates, or overestimates a high school player. Remember Rasheed Sulaimon? Tim Duncan was a nobody. More recently, how about Caleb Love?

And here are two other things that tilt the balance towards Filipowski: first, he’ll be a sophomore. Mgbako might have had a wonderful year at Duke next year, but then he’d have been gone. Two years versus one is a no-brainer.

And second, Filipowski wants to be at Duke. And after hearing Filipowski say that one season in Cameron is not enough, he’s going to become a huge fan favorite.

From all accounts, Mgbako is a great kid and very promising. But he doesn’t want to be at Duke. So let’s follow him, wish him the best, and stick with the guy who clearly wants to be a Blue Devil.

It’s the best outcome for everyone.