May 27, 2024

Duke’s starting lineup for next season will have a 6-foot-9 gap as Mark Mitchell, a sophomore forward who started in 67 games over the past two seasons, has announced his decision to enter the transfer portal via Instagram. Following sophomore center Christian Reeves, Mitchell becomes the second player to transfer out of the program.

Hailing from Kansas City, Kan., Mitchell was renowned for his prowess as an on-ball defender, often tasked with guarding the opponent’s top forward. Averaging 11.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season, he ranked fourth and second on the team, respectively. Mitchell showcased his offensive capability with five games of at least 20 points, notably scoring 16 consecutive points against Notre Dame in a standout performance. Additionally, he displayed his defensive prowess with three steals in Duke’s NCAA tournament victory over James Madison.

Mark Mitchell (@Mark_mitchell25) / X

While Mitchell faced challenges in maintaining his 3-point shooting consistency, shooting 27.5% from beyond the arc, his ability to penetrate the defense remained a strength, particularly against less athletic opponents. Mitchell assumed a significant role for Duke from his freshman year onward, thrust into the starting lineup due to an early-season injury to Dariq Whitehead. Despite facing adversity, he demonstrated his value with an impressive 18-point debut against Jacksonville and maintained his starting position throughout the season, with the exception of a missed game due to injury.

His departure poses a challenge for head coach Jon Scheyer, who will need to adapt without Mitchell’s contributions. While Duke has a promising recruiting class incoming, Scheyer may explore options in the transfer portal to fill the void left by Mitchell, particularly seeking an experienced wing defender to complement the team’s roster.

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