Duke basketball 5-star recruit decides to transfer after two seasons with program

The biggest player has entered the portal for the Blue Devils his offseason

You could feel it and see it coming from a mile away as it became official on Tuesday that a former 5-star recruit, Mark Mitchell, is leaving the Duke basketball program after two seasons and entering the transfer portal.

On3 first reported the news.

Mitchell returned to Duke after his freshman season with the hopes of elevating his game and becoming a first round draft choice this summer, but that plan never fully formulated.

Despite some of his statistics rising, Mitchell often looked unsure of his self — specifically offensively — and was not impacting the game in a positive manner for the Blue Devils. He averaged 11.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.1 assists this season on 54-percent shooting, yet 27.5-percent from 3-point range.

He started 67 of 68 games he played in at Duke over the last two seasons.

Mitchell started the season just 1-of-22 from 3-point range before making 10-of-18 shots from distance to finish the year.

He becomes the second Duke player to enter the transfer portal, joining 7-foot-1 sophomore Christian Reeves. The expectation is that more will also transfer from the program.

A role to find on next year’s team would have been tough for Mitchell with the Blue Devils bringing in 5-star freshman sensation Cooper Flagg, who will likely demand most of the minutes at power forward.

The Blue Devils are planning to retain freshman Sean Stewart and also bringing in other freshmen who are looking to compete for minutes, making it that much more difficult to find space for Mitchell on next year’s team.

Everything Jon Scheyer had planned in the frontcourt for the 2024-25 season was predicated on Mitchell taking the next step in his development and heading to the NBA Draft this offseason.

Mark Mitchell, a former McDonald’s All-American, averaged just 3.3 points per game over Duke’s last three NCAA Tournament games, culminating in a loss to NC State in the Elite 8.

It will be interesting to see what programs will recruit the elite defensive player that needs some work on the offensive side of the floor.

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