Davion Mitchell’s Path to Waco | How Baylor Was Built

Davion Mitchell, 6-2, 205, G, Jr., (Hinesville, Ga.)
Transferred: April 14, 2018

Baylor lucked into a potential All-American.

Mitchell grew up in Hinesville, Ga. and attended Liberty County High. He was highly recruited out of high school and ranked in the top 75 by all the major scouting services. Louisville wanted him, and so did Georgia, but he didn’t feel as though he’d fit into the Bulldogs’ style of play. However, Auburn was fairly close to home and he loved Bruce Pearl’s up-tempo system, so he chose the Tigers.

He averaged about 17 minutes and 3.7 points per game as a freshman on a Tigers team that won the SEC. But the starting backcourt of Bryce Brown and Jared Harper were both returning for another season, and that meant a similar role for Mitchell as a sophomore, which he wasn’t excited about.

“I didn’t want to wait that long,” Mitchell said. “I just felt like I had to leave. Those are some really good guards and they taught me a lot, but I wanted to go somewhere and make an impact right away.”

Tennessee and Missouri both wanted him, but there was an SEC rule about transferring within the conference. Despite the interest from those two well-known programs, the phone wasn’t exactly ringing off the hook for Mitchell.

“There weren’t a lot of schools interested to be honest,” Mitchell admitted.

St. John’s was intrigued, but the Johnnies went after just about everyone that came over the transfer wire. Clemson and Ohio State were also in the mix, but the Buckeyes took another transfer, CJ Walker, instead.

Mitchell visited Georgia State before Baylor came in at the 11th hour because of a connection between a prep school coach in Georgia that Mitchell worked out with and Baylor director of player development Jared Nuness.

“All of the sudden, Baylor came out of nowhere,” Mitchell recalled. “I took a visit, and committed.”

Mitchell basically lived in the gym during his sit-out season, improving his perimeter shot as well as his decision-making. When he wasn’t getting shots up, he was watching film on himself and other guards, and also trying to make sure that he didn’t let on-court mistakes stick with him.

Mitchell quickly established himself as an elite defender last season, but was overshadowed on the offensive end by Jared Butler and MaCio Teague. This season, he’s a legitimate first-team All-American and some analysts feel as though he might be the best overall guard in the country with his improved offensive game that has him putting up 13.6 points and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 49 percent from 3 and still maintaining his high-level defensive prowess.

“The biggest difference for me has been my confidence in my shot,” Mitchell told me. “I watched a lot of film of Steph Curry — the way he holds the ball and his form. But the key has been me staying confident even when I have an off night.”