Vanderbilt freshman point guard Shelton Mitchell announced last week that he would be leaving the Commodores' program, and NC State may opt to pursue him. According to Pack Pride, NCSU is one of four schools to get permission to recruit him. Clemson and Charlotte are among the schools to express some early interest in Mitchell.
Mitchell was a four-star recruit out of high school ranked in the top 100 of the class of 2014. He initially signed with Wake Forest but opted out after Jeff Bzdelik was fired, and eventually chose Vanderbilt.
He started 11 games for the Commodores this past season but none after mid-January, when he fell behind fellow freshman Wade Baldwin in the rotation. Mitchell cited "personal reasons" for his decision to leave Vanderbilt, though playing time may have been a factor.
Here's what SBN Vandy blog Anchor of Gold had to say about Mitchell last week:
Mitchell had an up-and-down freshman year. He displayed flashes of greatness at the point for the Commodores thanks to a preternatural sense for where defenses would break down when pressed. However, he also struggled to execute in his first season of NCAA basketball. He made some highlight reel passes but shot poorly (22.6% from long range) while leading the team in turnovers per minute. In all he averaged 4.3 points and 3.3 assists in 2014-15.
Mitchell definitely needs to work on his shooting at his next destination, wherever that might be. In addition to shooting poorly from three, he hit only 42.7% of his twos. He also posted a turnover rate over 30%. His assist rate, however, was excellent--he ranked 52nd nationally in that category.
Mitchell wouldn't be able to help NC State immediately--he is an undergraduate transfer, so he'll have to sit out next season. Which is fine, and may be for the best since he could use the year to work in practice and get better. He'd give State some insurance for 2016 in the event that Cat Barber turns pro following his junior season.
It can't hurt to add a talented player with high-major experience to the roster, even if his debut season was a struggle at times. We'll keep an eye on this one.