Duke basketball forward continues to make strong summer impressions

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

Duke basketball forward Mark Mitchell is continuing his impressive summer. 

It is only a matter of days until the Duke basketball team is back in Durham and beginning its fall semester of classes in preparation for the season but one player specifically has shined this summer for the Blue Devils.

Mark Mitchell was the most consistent player for Jon Scheyer last season and, perhaps, the most under appreciated player.

Many rarely noticed when Mitchell was on the floor — despite playing and starting the first 35 games of the season — after averaging just 9.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per contest but his presence was greatly missed when Duke’s season ended against Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament.

It took a while for the 6-foot-9 forward to return to the court, but once get got clearance at the end of July he has taken off like a rocket.

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Mitchell has been a focal point in the Blue Devil offense in summer workout videos and has looked much more comfortable on that side of the court as he is already an outstanding defender.

The Kansas City native was at the Nike Academy last week, along with freshmen teammates Caleb Foster and Jared McCain, and according to ESPN NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony, he was one of the best two-way players at the event.

Duke basketball forward continues to show off polished game

Mark Mitchell looked tenacious and aggressive in drills, keeping his defender on its heels and overpowering them when he drove to the basket as he finished through contact.

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The nimble forward also showed off an improved footwork around the basket and his continued progress with a midrange jumper that was rarely seen last season in addition to a 3-point shot, which he made at a 35.2-percent clip last season.

Defensively, Mitchell’s long frame made it nearly impossible for shooters to get clean looks as he will, once again, look to be in the conversation for the nation’s best defender.

Mark Mitchell will be slotted as one of Duke’s starting forwards this season but his role will certainly be bigger as he is primed to be a major breakout candidate once November rolls around.

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