Duke’s starting lineup for next season will notably have a gap with the departure of 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Mark Mitchell.

Mitchell, who has started in 67 games for the Blue Devils over the past two seasons, revealed through Instagram that he is entering the transfer portal. His decision follows that of sophomore center Christian Reeves, making Mitchell the second player to transfer out of the Duke program.

Sophomore forward Mark Mitchell rises for a dunk in Duke's first-round NCAA tournament game against Vermont.

Mark Mitchell, a native of Kansas City, Kansas, emerged as one of Duke’s most formidable on-ball defenders, often tasked with guarding the opposing team’s top forward. His contributions extended beyond defense, as he averaged 11.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season, ranking fourth and second on the team, respectively. Mitchell showcased his offensive prowess on multiple occasions, recording at least 20 points five times, including a season-high of 23 points achieved twice against Notre Dame and Wake Forest.


In a notable performance against Notre Dame, Mitchell displayed his offensive dominance by scoring 16 consecutive points for the Blue Devils. He also showcased his defensive prowess by tallying three steals in Duke’s second-round NCAA tournament victory over James Madison. While his three-point shooting saw a slight dip in consistency compared to his freshman year, with a 27.5% success rate from behind the arc, Mitchell demonstrated his ability to penetrate and score at the rim effectively, particularly against less athletic opponents.

Mitchell assumed a significant role for Duke from his freshman year, stepping into the starting lineup early in the season due to an injury to then-freshman Dariq Whitehead. Despite his youth, Mitchell proved his value immediately, scoring 18 points in the season opener against Jacksonville and retaining his starting position for the remainder of the season. The only game he missed was Duke’s second-round NCAA tournament loss to Tennessee, as he was sidelined due to injury.

As a key contributor in head coach Jon Scheyer’s first two seasons at the helm, Mitchell’s departure will undoubtedly pose a challenge for the team. While Duke boasts a strong incoming recruiting class for the upcoming season, Scheyer may explore options in the transfer portal to fill the void left by Mitchell, particularly in terms of finding an experienced wing defender.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *