Next on our list of player recaps is freshman forward Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell didn’t see a lot of action this year for the Deacs, playing just 7 minutes total in 4 games and scoring 3 points, so I’m going to focus mostly on what we can expect next season.
Mitchell should see an increase in playing time next season as the Deacs are losing a fair amount of minutes from this year’s squad. With Arians, Van Horn, and McClinton all graduating (or no longer having eligibility, in Arians’s case), there are around 30 minutes per game from this season up for grabs at the wing position. If John Collins chooses to remain in the NBA draft and not return, that will free up another 26 minutes per game in the post.
At 6-8, 210lbs, Mitchell has the body to play minutes on the wing or in the post, so he should be able to take some of the minutes from either position. How much playing time he sees, in my opinion, will depend on what happens with Collins and how ready Chaundee Brown and Melo Eggleston are to step in and play next season.
So with an increase in minutes, what can we expect from Mitchell on the court next season? With just 7 minutes of game time from this season to look at, it’s really tough to say. He has a nice combination of height and athleticism that should hold up well against ACC competition. As a volleyball player in high school, his ability to time his jumps perfectly on rebounds or alley-oops should also be exquisite. With the Deacs struggling so much on defense this season, probably the biggest question is whether or not Mitchell can defend either wing or post players in the ACC.
As you can see above, Mitchell showed promise on his ability to defend on the wing early last season in the Bahamas. Now obviously the competition in this game is not comparable to that of the ACC, but you can see that the potential is there.
With so little to draw on, I am very curious to see what we get from Donovan Mitchell next season. What are you expectations?