Name: Charles Mitchell
Weight: 260 lbs
Position: Power Forward
High School: Wheeler High School, GA
As A Recruit: Four-star by 247Sports.com, 86th ranked player in class of 2012
Career Highlight: While it wasn’t against the stiffest of competition, Mitchell set career-highs in points (19) and rebounds (14) against Delaware State on Dec. 29. It was a huge building block for Mitchell to take his game to the next level just two games before ACC play was slated to begin.
2012-2013 in review: It was an up-and-down freshman campaign for Charles Mitchell, but there was one constant: efficient rebounding.
Mitchell ranked third among ACC freshmen in rebounds-per-game (5.4) and his 13.7 rebounds per 40 minutes led the ACC. The Georgia native isn’t the tallest big in the world, but he has a tremendous amount of energy and could be described as a bull on the glass.
During his recruitment, Mitchell was a very underrated prospect despite being a four-star recruit. In addition to a Maryland scholarship offer, the southern forward also claimed offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, and Georgia Tech. Mitchell’s commitment to Maryland came as a bit of a surprise because he was a southern native. He had his chance to go to almost any school in the south, but he chose to come to College Park and play for coach Mark Turgeon.
Maryland was an ideal situation for Mitchell as a freshman to be quite honest. While Turgeon juggled with a ton of different starting lineups throughout the season, Mitchell didn’t have to put up gaudy numbers the moment he stepped on campus. The Terps had current Phoenix Suns forward Alex Len firmly entrenched in the middle with senior forward James Padgett splitting time with forward Shaquille Cleare and Mitchell.
The Wheeler product didn’t garner a ton of minutes, but was a significant contributor as he averaged 5.5 points-per-game and 5.4 rebounds-per-game in 15.7 minutes-per-game. Like fellow freshmen Cleare, forward Jake Layman, and guard Seth Allen, a lot was expected of them and it was clear in the season opener against Kentucky just how raw they were.
However, Mitchell grew into himself and became a smarter player as the season went on. He never fouled out of a game and only reached the four-foul plateau on four different occasions. Mitchell is a guy who wasn’t afraid to get inside and impose his will on defending post players.
Mitchell always seems to go up strong with the basketball and isn’t afraid of the impending contact that he could face. He was second on the team in double-digit rebounding games with five such performances.
Aside from his phenomenal rebounding ability, Mitchell just brings a ton of energy to the floor. He’s definitely not going to be a rim protector as that role is reserved for Cleare. However, Mitchell will do the dirty and provided a jolt for the Terps in multiple games last season.
Mitchell averaged 4.7 points-per-game and 4.6 rebounds-per-game during ACC play (including the ACC tournament). He also had some of his better games against the likes of North Carolina and Duke.
2013 Expectations: Mitchell proved to be a very consistent player as a freshman. He was a very solid bench piece, but should see even more minutes this season.
Obviously with Len and Padgett gone, the Georgia native will be heavily leaned on. Whether Mitchell starts remains to be seen. It’s very possible that Turgeon could go with a lineup of Cleare and Michigan transfer forward Evan Smotrycz as a stretch four.
Being that sixth man could be a role that Mitchell could thrive in. However, he will have the score the basketball a little bit more than he did a season ago. Mitchell did show flashes of being able to do so in both high school and at Maryland. As a senior at Wheeler High School, Mitchell averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds and took his team to the Sweet 16 of the Georgia 5A state playoffs.
Maryland doesn’t need that type of production this season as they have plenty of scoring in the frontcourt with Smotrycz, forward Jake Layman, and potentially Cleare. However, Mitchell does have the talent to have that next step forward. Averaging something in the neighborhood of eight points-per-game and five or six rebounds-per-game would be a substantial leap forward for Mitchell and would give the Terps some offensive firepower off the bench.
As was the case with the entire 2012 class, having that year of experience will have Mitchell better prepared for ACC play this season.
Like was mentioned earlier, Mitchell is not going to be a rim-protector. He is going to be expected to provide energy and grab his fair share of rebounds. Mitchell is going to have to score a decent amount as the Terps have lost the scoring of Len, Padgett, and guard Pe’Shon Howard.
Mitchell had a very successful freshman campaign and was the shot-in-the-arm that the Terps needed last season. He’ll be expected to be that and so much more this coming season.
Up next: Evan Smotrycz