|In-arena advertising caption guy turns up on the wrong night.|Akil Mitchell
2013/14 stats:25.7 mpg, 6.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.6 bpg, 0.8 spg, 1.9 fpg, 1.3 TOpg, 56.1% FG, 0.0% 3PT, 42.7% FT
As a senior, Mitchell completely lost the free throw stroke he had built up to mediocrity as a junior, and his 42.7% shooting from there made him a liability. He rushes the release on the shot and snatches aggressively at it, and has absolutely no rhythm on it nor any jumpshot. Given what an offensive liability he became from the line, this also affected his minutes, and as good as Virginia was last season, Mitchell had to watch some of it from the bench, averaging only 25.7 minutes per game.
Mitchell nonetheless played a big role for the Cavaliers, mostly defensively and on the glass. He is a good leaper with a high motor, who returns a very good rebounding rate and embraces his role as a dirty worker. He uses this motor in a similar fashion on the defensive end, where, despite an average amount of lateral quickness that his jumping ability rather masks, and despite a lack of optimum size for post defense, he nevertheless contests on everything. Mitchell hedges hard on pick and roll actions and can stay in front of driving big men, but he can be blown past on closeouts given that he does not change direction too quickly, and sometimes those pick and roll hedges are a little too hard. He nonetheless moves his feet as best he can, has some shot blocking timing around the rim, and is a nuisance defensively if not a lock-down player at any position.
There is occasionally some offense from Mitchell, who is not Reggie Evans out there. He runs the court hard and can finish around the rim if set up, throwing a little spin to a righty hook if impeded and going straight up if not. He has not the best footwork, has very little handle, has even littler of a jumpshot and travels a bit, but his sprightliness and cuts to open spots give him a purpose offensively, and he stays within that role. Players who recognise their limitations and play within them are always fun to be coached, and Mitchell is so capable of and willing to embrace his interior role playing status that he has made it all the way up to this level. But at 6'8 and 230lbsish, anything further is a long shot.