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Mitchell Rising

Duke’s sophomore forward could be dramatically better this season

Virginia Tech v Duke
 DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 25: Mark Mitchell #25 of the Duke Blue Devils puts up a shot against Michael Collins Jr. #2 and Justyn Mutts #25 of the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 25, 2023 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 81-65.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

We noted recently that Kyle Filipowski and Christian Reeves were both notably bigger than they were as freshmen, with Filipowski now up to nearly 250 and Reeves at 261.

We kind of overlooked Mark Mitchell in that discussion.

As we learned over the summer, Duke took the physical beating Tennessee laid on the Devils in the NCAA tournament personally and have been hitting the weights, determined that that won't happen again.

Mitchell, accordingly, is up to 232 from 220 as a freshman - but he’s also grown an inch, from 6-8 to 6-9.

This article suggests he might even be able to play some center.

That might be stretching things a bit - maybe in a pinch or for limited minutes. But what if that’s right, especially on defense?

Duke would have a guy who could probably defend four spots and, in certain games, possibly every position. His value is only going to go up.

Pair that with what we’ve seen of Sean Stewart, and Duke’s versatility, already a strong point, goes up even more.

You could put out a three-guard lineup, take your pick there because Duke’s depth is remarkable, or you could put out a much bigger lineup with insane defensive potential.

We’ll learn more when we see more, but for now, consider this: there is no reason whatsoever for this team to slow down or to conserve energy. What will Jon Scheyer do with that?