Duke basketball: Stunning injury sidelines Mark Mitchell before tipoff

Duke basketball freshman forward Mark Mitchell (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball freshman forward Mark Mitchell (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team could be without freshman forward Mark Mitchell. 

A massive injury bomb was dropped in Orlando, Florida just minutes before the Duke basketball team tipped off its Round of 32 matchup in the NCAA Tournament against Tennessee.

The Blue Devils announced that freshman forward Mark Mitchell, who was listed in the initial starting lineup, was questionable due to a knee injury.

Dariq Whitehead replaced him to begin the game alongside Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, Kyle Filipowski, and Dereck Lively II.

Filipowski had been dealing with an illness in the Round of 64 against Oral Roberts but did not miss much time.

ALSO READ: Kyle Filipowski explains illness during Oral Roberts win

However, when the CBS broadcast team showed its graphics of the starting lineup the notion was that Mitchell would not play today.

The broadcast further went into detail on the injury and said Mark Mitchell landed awkwardly at practice on Friday and it would be a surprise if he was able to play against the Volunteers.

Mitchell is having trouble moving properly on the court, according to CBS, but if he is able to loosen up and get a full range of motion in his knee it is possible he could play.

Jaylen Blakes is expected to receive minutes because of the injury.

Duke basketball depth being tested

Jon Scheyer has only played eight players in his main rotation during Duke’s ten game winning streak and Mark Mitchell was a major piece for the Blue Devils.

Mitchell played, and started, in all of Duke’s previous 35 games this season and is averaging 9.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 46.9-percent from the floor and 35.2-percent from 3-point range.

Kyle Filipowski, early in the first half against Tennessee, got an elbow to the face which caused a large and deep cut under his left eye but returned shortly after.

Duke, if it were to beat Tennessee, would play in the Sweet 16 on Thursday from Madison Square Garden against either Florida Atlantic or Fairleigh Dickinson.

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