Ajay Mitchell: NBA Draft 2nd Round Gems

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Ajay Mitchell

That time of the year … It’s NBA Draft week and at the Backdoor Podcast we keep bringing you thoughts and words on exciting young talent. After talking about Joel Soriano in our previous piece, we head back to USA with a profile of one of the most intriguing international players in College Basketball. Are you looking for a steal in the 2nd Round and a real gem in this Draft? All the way from Belgium via California, Ajay Mitchell is your man…

BIO / PHYSICALS

Three years on the West Coast have been enough for Ajay Mitchell to establish himself as one of the most impressive lead-guards in all College Basketball. The Limburg United product has shown the right mentality to overcome some injuries and the talent to adapt and deliver in different lineups for UC Santa Barbara. Mitchell earned a bunch of awards in his conference last season and played against Baylor in the NCAA tournament, but he has certainly gone one step further this season posting 20.0pts per game for the Gauchos with a high usage (31.4%) and remarkable shooting percentages (61.8 TS%).

Ajay Mitchell’s statistical growth has been steady and sustained by his physical evolution year-by-year. Listed at 6’5 by UC Santa Barbara, the Belgian rising star fits into the big scoring point-guard archetype and has quite a frame and shoulders to fill up. Mitchell has also long arms (+ 3 inches wingspan) and use them to his advantage. Whether he is on-the-ball or on a defensive assignment, Ajay is light and agile, and can cover ground in a hurry to make up for a lack of explosion and elite above-the-rim athleticism.

ROLE

What do you prefer? A tall and gifted floor general that operates in high picks, holds his bounce and then speed up the play until the moment he can deliver the pass, or maybe a high-volume bucket-getter who can do the job downhill, off the catch or via pull ups off the dribble? Ajay Mitchell is your modern yet classic combo-guard and the guy you would like to have in your roster to master both guard spots. At Santa Barbara Mitchell has built an awesome backcourt partnership with the uber explosive 6’4 senior Josh Pierre-Louis taking turns at the point in the very same sequence. Such a versatile approach will serve him well at the next level.