Baylor junior guard Davion Mitchell, one of the breakout stars of the Bears’ NCAA Tournament title run and the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, announced late Tuesday night that he is entering the 2021 NBA Draft and forgoing his remaining college eligibility.
Mitchell averaged 14.0 points, 5.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game for the 28-2 Bears, and during the NCAA Tournament, those averages were 13.5 points, 5.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds and 36.3% shooting from 3-point range as Baylor secured its first-ever men’s basketball national championship.
Mitchell moved from just outside the draft lottery up to No. 6 in my latest NBA mock draft earlier this month, and found a similar leap in the CBS Sports Top 50 Big Board, moving from 16 to No. 6. Here’s what we wrote about his rising pro prospects and why he’s jumping into the draft with his stock soaring:
There is a clear top tier in this draft with Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jonathan Kuminga. The next tier on our board starts with Davion Mitchell. He is a true game-changer on offense with his elite burst and change of direction making him impossible to stay in front of. He can finish from all sorts of angles around the rim, too. And on defense, he’s an absolute menace; Baylor coach Scott Drew said during the tournament that they call him “Off Night” because players who line up against him “tend to have off nights with him.”
Mitchell began his career at Auburn in 2017-18 but transferred after one season and steadily worked his way onto the draft radar. Even in a draft with two Tier 1 lead guards in Cunningham and Suggs, Mitchell, because of his elite defensive chops, passing skills and sheer speed to get past defenders, has made a strong case for why he should be considered a top-10 prospect. That likely won’t be a consensus view among NBA teams — he’s 22 years old, considered by NBA standards to be a late-bloomer — but his improvement this season as the best 3-point shooter on the best 3-point shooting team in college hoops while improving significantly as a passer won’t be overlooked.
“He’s a two-way player,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said just before the title game. “That’s what makes him so good. Defensive Player of the Year. But then on the offensive end, he can score it and he can create for others.”
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