Duke basketball: Mark Mitchell address lofty preseason expectations

Duke basketball forward Mark Mitchell (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Mark Mitchell (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball forward Mark Mitchell talks about the team’s lofty expectations next year. 

It’s never too early to look forward as the Duke basketball team already has lofty expectations for next season in Jon Scheyer’s second season as the helm of the program.

The Blue Devils skyrocketed to the top of many way-too-early polls after the freshmen trio of Tyrese Proctor, Mark Mitchell, and Kyle Filipowski announced they would be returning to Durham for at least another season.

Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively II announced they would be entering the 2023 NBA Draft while junior point guard Jeremy Roach did the same but is maintaining his college eligibility.

Mitchell, while joining The Field of 68, addressed the early hype surrounding the program.

ALSO READ: Jon Scheyer reflects on first season as head coach

“Obviously it’s a little different from where we were last year,” Mitchell said responding to college basketball insider Jeff Goodman when he told the versatile wing that he has Duke ranked as No. 1 entering next season.

“We were kind of underrated at times.”

Duke was ranked No. 7 in the Preseason Top-25 Poll and that was the highest the program would get as it completely dropped out of the rankings from January 16 until March 6.

However, the Blue Devils finished the season at No. 12 in the Associated Press Top-25 despite its exit from the NCAA Tournament in the Round of 32.

“Being in the spotlight now, it’s cool,” Mitchell continued.

“We’re Duke.”

Duke basketball with new faces mixing with returnees

Kyle Filipowski’s announcement to return to Duke was the catalyst that led many to peg the Blue Devils as the National Champion frontrunners but the decision also saw 5-star wing Mackenzie Mgbako request his release from his National Letter of Intent.

Mgbako is reportedly mulling St. John’s, Rutgers, Louisville, and the G-League as potential destinations although his recruitment has been very quiet since leaving his pledge in Durham.

ALSO READ: Mark Mitchell explains decision to return to Duke

However, Jon Scheyer brings in the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports, headlined by four 5-star recruits in Jared McCain, Sean Stewart, Caleb Foster, and TJ Power.

Duke will have a daunting non-conference schedule that prepares the team for the rigors of ACC play as the program looks to win its sixth National Championship next April.

Mackenzie Mgbako recruitment remains quiet. dark. Next