Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell is the latest to decide to see what the NBA might offer.
“I have decided to test the waters and not hire an agent!” Mitchell wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday. “I am excited to work out this summer for teams and hopefully participate in the NBA combine! I want it to be clear I have not decided to leave Louisville!”
Mitchell, who is expected to be joined by dozens of players, is taking advantage of new NCAA rules that allow him to work out for teams and attend the NBA draft combine before making a decision on whether to remain in the draft and return to school.
Players have until May 24 to withdraw from the draft and return to school.
Mitchell averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a sophomore, shooting 40.8 percent overall and 35.4 percent on 3-point attempts.
The 6-foot-3 guard is projected as a potential first-round pick, but should he return, the Cardinals would project as one of the top teams in the country with nearly the entire core returning from this year’s 25-9 squad.
Louisville used a huge first-half run to pull away from Syracuse, and a Donovan Mitchell slam to put the icing on the cake.
The Cardinals sophomore caught a pass one-handed and seamlessly threw it home to deliver the signature moment of Louisville’s 88-68 win over the Orange on Saturday
Louisville has been without one of its expected contributors through the first few days of practice.
Donovan Mitchell, a sophomore guard, has missed four practices due to a concussion, though he is expected to return to the court next week, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal citing coach Rick Pitino’s appearance on a local radio program.
Pitino said that freshman V.J. King would start in Mitchell’s place were the season to start today.
As a freshman, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 7.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range.
The Cardinals, who potentially could open the season as a top-10 ranked team, are also dealing with an injury to forward Mangok Mathiang, who was expected to return to practice Nov. 1 from a foot injury, but it’s “too early to tell,” if that timetable will stand, Pitino said, per the Courier-Journal.
Wake Forest added a front court piece to its 2016 recruiting efforts on Sunday as Rivals150 forward Donovan Mitchell committed to the Demon Deacons.
The 6-foot-8 Mitchell is a native of California and is regarded as the No. 148 overall prospect in the latest Rivals Class of 2016 national rankings. Playing with Team Superstar this spring and summer in the Under Armour Association, Mitchell averaged 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
A pick-and-pop forward who could eventually transition to the wing, Mitchell is an intriguing prospect and he came on strong this July during the live evaluation period. With a smooth jumper, Mitchell should be able to impact the game as a floor spacer for head coach Danny Manning, who can probably position Mitchell in a few different spots on the floor.
Mitchell joins three-star guards Brandon Childress and Richard Washington in Wake Forest’s 2016 class.
After losing Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell to the NBA Draft, Wayne Blackshear to graduation and two more to transfer, Louisville was left with Quentin Snider as the team’s top returning scorer at 4.1 points per game.
However, Rick Pitino was able to bolster the 2015-16 lineup in the spring with the additions of two highly-sought after graduate transfers: Drexel swingman Damion Lee and Cleveland State guard Trey Lewis. Both joined the program in April, and on the heels of the Cardinals’ trip to Puerto Rico, the two graduate transfers have locked up starting spots for this upcoming season, according to Jonathan Lintner, of the Courier-Journal.
“In a fast style of play, he’s lethal because of how he scores,” Pitino told reporters during a press conference on Thursday. “He’s not selfish by any means, but he has the ability to put points on the board, and that’s something that’s so needed for this basketball team.
“Trey Lewis is also a young man that just gives incredible leadership — tough physically, gets in the lane, shoots it, does a lot of good things as well.”
Lee was the CAA’s leading scorer at 21.4 points per game, but his season was cut short after breaking his right hand in late February. He had missed most of the 2013-14 campaign with a torn ACL. The 6-foot-1 Lewis averaged 16.3 points per game, shooting 42 percent for three as a junior. Pitino lauded him for his maturity during Thursday’s press conference.
The two additions joined a heralded recruiting class that includes Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Ray Spalding and Ryan McMahon, who will redshirt this season.
The Cardinals foreign tour will begin on Tuesday and lasts through Aug. 16, with the team playing three doubleheaders in a six-day span.
Every year as part of our season preview coverage we list guys who we feel are the best dunkers in college basketball. The list for the 2015-16 season will include at least one freshman, if not more.
Two candidates are UNLV signee Derrick Jones, who may turn out to be the best dunker in all of college basketball, and Louisville signee Donovan Mitchell. Both threw down impressive windmill dunks that found their way to the internet on Saturday, and you can watch them below.
First there’s Mitchell, who windmilled a made jumper as opposed to doing one off of a bounce. Only windmill involving a catch that may be more impressive is the one former Green Bay point guard Keifer Sykes threw down at the Chris Paul camp last summer.
As for Jones, there was no lob used just a running start before he took off from the foul line and threw down a left-handed windmill dunk. Jones’ dunk was recorded by UNLV teammate Jordan Cornish.
Impressive dunks from two players who are bound to create some highlights next season.