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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

BREAKING: Indiana men’s basketball's Mackenzie Mgbako to return for sophomore season

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Indiana men’s basketball freshman forward Mackenzie Mgbako will be returning to the program for his sophomore season, according to a report from 247sports on Saturday. 

Arriving in Bloomington with a 5-star label and plenty of hype from fans, Mgbako took time to adjust to the college game. 

His defensive acumen was initially criticized heavily by head coach Mike Woodson, but Mgbako grew within the system and finished the year as a capable defender and explosive scoring threat. 

In the final month of the season, Mgbako scored in double figures all but once in nine games and eclipsed the 20-point mark on three occasions. Mgbako began the year with inconsistent playing time, but he quickly became a difficult player to keep off the floor. 

On a team devoid of 3-point shooters, Mgbako emerged as the Hoosiers’ most reliable outside option. Mgbako drained a team-high 50 triples on the year, 24 more than senior guard Trey Galloway, who finished second. 

The 6-foot-8 Gladstone, New Jersey, native was Indiana’s top performer at the charity stripe, as well. Mgbako shot 82.1% from the line, good for ninth-best in the conference.

[Related: How Indiana basketball’s Mackenzie Mgbako overcame a slow start, lived up to 5-star hype]

On March 12, Mgbako’s season was rewarded with a Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year nod alongside Iowa big man Owen Freeman. Mgbako was the second consecutive Hoosier to win the award after now-Los Angeles Lakers guard Jalen Hood-Schifino did so last year. 

But Mgbako decided to do something Hood-Schifino didn’t — spend a second year in the candy stripe. 

Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Press (@MattPress23) and columnist Daniel Flick (@ByDanielFlick) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s basketball offseason.
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