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5-star freshman Mackenzie Mgbako will play in Indiana basketball opening exhibition



Indiana basketball forward Mackenzie Mgabko
Indiana basketball 5-star freshman wing Mackenzie Mgbako will play on Sunday in IU's season-opening exhibition game.

The Indiana basketball program will have its key five-star freshman for its exhibition game on Sunday against University of Indianapolis. On Friday, Indiana head coach Mike Woodson said that Mackenzie Mgbako will be available for the exhibition and his situation will be handled internally.

Mgbako was arrested early Sunday morning last week and charged with two misdemeanors. It was later lowered to one misdemeanor charge of trespassing for an altercation at Taco Bell.

“He will be playing,” Woodson said. “He’s been practicing, and all that’s behind us. We’ve got to move forward.”

Woodson mentioned Mgbako as one of two players who had really stood out this summer and in preseason practice. Mgbako was a five-star prospect in the 2023 class and committed to Indiana over Kansas after he re-opened his recruitment in the spring. He was originally signed to play at Duke.

Mgbako is widely considered to be one of the most impactful freshman in the country this season. He was voted as the preseason Big Ten Freshman of the Year ahead of this month’s Big Ten Media Day.

“Only time will tell. He’s capable of putting the basketball in the hole. He’s shown that this summer. We’ve got to help him as coaches and put him in the best position possible to be successful and help us,” Woodson said at Indiana basketball media day. “I’m expecting big things from him, but I’m not putting a lot of pressure on him. He’s a freshman.”

As a senior at Roselle Catholic (NJ), the 6-foot-8 wing averaged 16.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. He was also part of the Nike Hoop Summit and had 22 points and eight rebounds for the World Team.

Indiana basketball tips off its preseason on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm on BTN+. It has two exhibition games before the regular season gets underway on November 7 at home against Florida Gulf Coast.

SEE ALSO: ‘I’m expecting big things from him’: Mackenzie Mgbako critical piece to Indiana basketball in year one with program

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.