Busting Brackets

Missouri basketball: Analyzing incoming transfers for the 2024-25 season

Missouri v Wichita State
Missouri v Wichita State / Peter G. Aiken/GettyImages
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Mark Mitchell

The Tigers struggled on defense this past season, and for the most part hadn't directly addressed that in the transfer portal. The addition of Mark Mitchell to the roster was the first step to improving the defense. 

Mitchell spent the past two years at Duke, where he started all but one game during his time as a Blue Devil. Last season, Mitchell averaged nearly 12 points per game and added six rebounds. He wasn’t relied on as a scorer at Duke, but that's not because he wasn’t a capable scorer. There were just some really good scorers ahead of him. Mitchell was the fourth leading scorer on a Duke team that made it to the Elite Eight. 

This past season, Mitchell scored in double-digits 21 times. He scored a season-high 23 points twice, in wins over Notre Dame and Wake Forest. He also ended the season with three double-doubles. Offensively, Mitchell is an efficient scorer. He made 54 percent of his shots last season and is even more efficient when he gets close to the basket, where he made an incredible 59 percent of his shots. 

Mitchell mostly played close to the basket, but that didn't stop him from stepping out and attempting some threes. He only made 27.5 percent from three, one 1.2 attempts per game. This is where he needs some work on the offensive end. His jump shot isn’t the best. And this translates to his free throw shooting. He got to the line nearly five times a game last season but only made 62 percent of those attempts. 

The area in which Mitchell will help improve Mizzou the most is on the defensive end. While watching his tape, there were very few times when he was out of position. And on the few times he was, he was quick enough and long enough to recover and contest the shot. Mitchell is a really good off-ball defender. He rotates well and always knows where the ball is. This will be huge in Dennis Gates’ defensive scheme, one that includes switching and flying towards the ball. 

Mitchell, simply put, is a solid basketball player. This is obvious since he ended up at Duke. In two years he has more experience in big games than most players get in four years. He has played in some of the most hostile arenas in the country and, arguably, in the best college basketball rivalry. I like this addition, and even if his jump shot doesn’t improve right away, what he brings to the defensive end for the Tigers will no doubt have a positive impact on Missouri.