Duke basketball freshman continuing to prove ACC voters wrong

Duke basketball freshman Mark Mitchell (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball freshman Mark Mitchell (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball freshman Mark Mitchell is proving the doubters wrong. 

It felt strange not to see Duke basketball rookie Mark Mitchell on the ACC All-Freshman team but the 6-foot-8 forward made voters see why he deserved the praise on Thursday afternoon at the ACC Tournament.

Mitchell, in just 27 minutes, posted 12 points, five rebounds, and one assist on 4-of-8 shooting from the field in Duke’s 96-69 victory over Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals.

The Blue Devils are now a perfect 14-0 on the season when Mitchell scores in double figures despite missing all three of his attempted 3-pointers in his postseason debut.

Kyle Filipowski, Dereck Lively, and Tyrese Proctor were all named to the All-Freshman Team while Judah Mintz of Syracuse and Notre Dame’s JJ Starling rounded out this year’s edition of the best rookie’s in the league.

Filipowski was named as the Rookie of the Year but the numbers suggest that Mitchell should have been in the conversation instead of Startling and his own teammate Lively.

Startling averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game on the season for a bad Notre Dame team and Lively, who has dealt with injuries this season, posted just 5.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest but blocked 2.1 shots per game.

Duke basketball freshman with worthy statistics

Mark Mitchell has played, and started, in each game this season for the Blue Devils and contributed 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 48.1-percent from the floor and 39.1-percent from distance.

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The voters, perhaps, did not want to include four players from the same school on the All-Freshman Team but this season was not a banner year for rookies — outside of the Blue Devils — and the league did not have its typical firepower atop the standings in the regular season.

Nevertheless, Mark Mitchell and the rest of the Blue Devils will look to keep its ACC Tournament Championship hopes alive on Friday night (7:00p.m. ET, ESPN) in its semifinal matchup against top-seeded Miami.

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