By: Tom Ballato
Sometimes for a basketball prospect, it is all about finding the “right fit” to develop as a player on and off the court. For Devin Mitchell, that “right fit” was at Georgia State University.
The 6’4″ shooting guard from Lawrenceville, Georgia, began his collegiate career as a freshman at Alabama. He played in 14 games and averaged 0.6 points, 0.3 assists, and 0.2 rebounds per contest.
After the season, Alabama had a coaching change. There was a mutual decision between Mitchell and Alabama’s new head coach Avery Johnson to seek a new opportunity for more playing time elsewhere. Although he didn’t play much, he considered his time at Alabama a learning experience. “I got to learn from guys like Levi Randolph and Retin Obasohan. It was a good experience to see how to be a successful college athlete on and off the floor.”
Mitchell was considered by a few programs as a transfer but transferred closer to home. He transferred to Georgia State University to play for coach Ron Hunter. During Hunter’s time at Georgia State University (GSU), he was known for bringing in major high talent through the transfer portal. What made GSU the right fit for Mitchell? He wanted to win! “GSU had just come off a huge win against Baylor in the NCAA Tournament. Being from Atlanta, I saw what that did for the city. Coach Hunter sold me on that opportunity to be apart of NCAA Tournament teams.”
During his time at Georgia State, Mitchell improved every year. After redshirting a full season, he came off the bench as a sophomore, drawing the start in just four contests. He put averages of 4.8 points and 1.0 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game in his first season at Georgia State. This was just a sample of what was to come, but Mitchell made 34 three-pointers, while shooting 35.8 percent from beyond the arc. Mitchell worked his way into the starting lineup as a junior and found his stride. He shot 44.7% from three-point range, making 98 three-pointers. After winning the Sun Belt Conference Championship, Georgia State made the NCAA Tournament and Mitchell was selected to the All-Sun Belt Third Team in 2018. His senior season, he was named to the 2018-19 All-Sun Belt Preseason Second Team. Mitchell missed a large chunk of the season following a knee injury. He worked his way back and was a critical part of the team’s run to win a second straight Sun Belt Conference Championship. Georgia State made their second consecutive NCAA Tournament.
Mitchell closed out his collegiate career with two trips to the NCAA Tournament. He finished third all-time in three-pointers at Georgia State and completed 42.5% from three during his three seasons. Looking back, Mitchell wants to be remembered for those contributions because it helped the team win. When speaking about his growth at Georgia State, Mitchell replied, “(I give) A lot of credit to the culture we had at State. We knew because of the success we had, that guys had to come back better individually every year. I always did my best to try to add things to my game every summer.”
Now Mitchell is prepared to begin his professional career. He has done a lot of conditioning and improved his body. “I wanted to add some physicality to my game to go along with the shooting.” Coach Hunter preached “to do the little things,” which is something that still resonates with Mitchell today. “He always practices that if we take care of the small things in life that the big things will work themselves out.”
While Mitchell has not signed anywhere just yet, he is mulling a few options that he has. Regardless of where he plays, he will bring the same intensity that he had at Georgia State.