The New York Knicks front office watched closely as The Baylor Bears defeated The Gonzaga Bulldogs 86 to 70 in the 2021 NCAA National Championship. In what could have been a fairy-tale ending for the Bulldogs, Baylor started off with an 11-1 lead and never looked back. While the offensive brilliance needs to be given credit to, the Baylor Bears truly exemplified what “suffocating defense” looked like in the biggest stage of college basketball.
At the center of the defense was the former Auburn backup, Davion Mitchell. Mitchell finished the game with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, with 1 block and a steal while playing 36 of 40 minutes. The Most Outstanding Player in the 2021 NCAA Tournament went to Jared Butler but that hardly downplayed the importance of Davion Mitchell throughout this tournament and the overall season. With an impressive finish to what is most likely the final year of his collegiate career, Davion Mitchell may be the answer to the Knicks current need at the point guard position.
Knicks Prospect: Davion Mitchell
Before diving into Mitchell’s fit with the Knicks, let’s see how well he has played in his junior season.
Mitchell finished the 2021 season averaging 14.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.9 steals, and 0.3 blocks while shooting .517/.453/.641.
Here is a list of accomplishments in this season alone:
- NCAA champion
- Naismith Defensive Player of the Year
- NABC Defensive Player of the Year
- Lefty Driesell Award
- Third-team All-American – AP, NABC, SN
- First-team All-Big 12
- Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year
- Big 12 All-Defensive Team
Davion Mitchell was showered with all the defensive awards the NCAA could afford. He shot an efficient .517 from the floor and .453 from the college three-point line which translates to a true shooting percentage of .627 and the effective field goal percentage of .622.
One area of concern is the poor free-throw shooting but the efficient field goal percentages do leave an optimistic view of future improvements on that end. Regardless of the free-throw percentages, Davion Mitchell had a very impressive season and his draft stock is reaching its apex.