Unsurprisingly, Baylor Men’s Basketball junior G and the national Defensive Player of the Year Davion Mitchell is foregoing his season, hiring an agent, and declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft. Mitchell became a team hero after developing during this past offseason and absolutely lighting up on both sides of the floor. He was arguably even more productive as a full player than fellow star junior G Jared Butler (who earned countless accolades including Big 12 Player of the Year and the NCAA Men’s Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player) as he killed offenses and also nailed most of his shots. So for good reason, Mitchell today declared for the 2021 NBA Draft and wrote a lengthy post on Twitter saying “First and foremost, I would like to thank God for blessing me and giving me the skill and talent to play the game that I love so much. To Coach Drew and the entire staff here at Baylor, thank you for making me a better player on the court but an even better man off the court. I’ve grown so much since I have been here and I really appreciate all who were involved with helping me grow. I’d like to thank my family for your support and for always having my back and being there for me through it all. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without all of you. To my teammates, thanks for pushing me every day and game. Thank you for your confidence you had in me. I am better because of all the encouragement I have received from each of you. To all the grad assistants, thanks for your countless hours in the gym with me helping me perfect my craft. And last but not least, thank you to the best fans in the world! Baylor Nation, you guys have been great night in and night out. We played our hearts out because of the love and support we received from you throughout the season. It has been an honor to represent Baylor University and I will never forget it. Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine and I truly believe I am ready to start living that dream. With that being said, I will be declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft and signing with an agent.”
This regular season, Mitchell shot 51.6% (111-215) of his field goals, 47.2% (50-106) of 3s, and 68.9% (31-45) of free throws with a total of 125 assists, 42 steals, 7 blocks, and 303 points. Mitchell was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team (an improvement from his Third Team placement last year).” Along with those Big 12 honors, Mitchell was named to the All-Big 12 All-Defensive Team and the Associated Press’ All-Big 12 Second Team. A couple weeks after, the National Association of Basketball Coaches named Mitchell to the All-America Third Team. And as of today, he earned all three National Defensive Player of the Year awards—the NABC Defensive Player of the Year, Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year, and Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year. According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), the “NABC National Defensive Player of the Year has honored the nation’s best defensive player annually since 1987…The Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award has recognized the nation’s top defender in every year since 2018…The Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year Award has been given annually since 2010 to the nation’s most outstanding college basketball defender.” Mitchell is now “the first Bear to win a national award open to all positions.” Mitchell’s final season stats showed he shot 51.1% (158-309) of his field goals, 44.7% (63-141) of 3s, and 64.1% (41-64) of free throws with a total of 165 assists, 57 steals, 11 blocks, and 420 points. After such a miraculous season Davion Mitchell will be greatly missed, but Baylor Nation will love watching him in the NBA!