The leading scorer at this year's Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Casey Mitchell got off to a hot start and continued to score at a high level throughout the week, looking more and more comfortable inside the arc in each contest. A junior college transfer, Mitchell was a pleasant surprise, and while he's no lock to be drafted, he made himself a ton of money with the showing he had at the PIT.
A bit short for a shooting guard at 6'3, Mitchell has a compact frame and very solid physical strength. He's not going to dunk on anyone in traffic, or blow anyone away with his first step, but he showed that he's a savvy scorer who has a number of skills that complement each other extremely well, especially when he's making good decisions on the courtsomething that isn't always the case unfortunately.
Mitchell started the week with a dominant shooting performance, knocking down virtually every shot he attempted on the first day of the PIT, including a number of threes and deep twos coming off of screens. Last season Mitchell shot an average 31% on no dribble jump shots in spot-up situations according to Synergy Sports Technology, but was exceptionally consistent this week with his feet set from distance. He does a terrific job spacing the floor, working off of screens, and squaring himself to the rim and getting on balance before he receives the ball.
Once defenders began to respect his range, Mitchell began to pick them apart off the dribble. He shot a very solid 34.5% off the bounce last season according to Synergy, and showed why here. When he can use his defender's momentum against him, he can take a quick dribble to create enough separation to get his shot off. While he's far from comfortable in pure isolation situations, when Mitchell can get an edge, he's capable of taking advantage of it.
In his final game in Portsmouth, Mitchell did a terrific job getting to, and finishing at, the rim. He's not athletic enough to project as a quality finisher in the NBA, but this was a prime example of how Mitchell can take what defenses give him. He was not overly aggressive attacking the rim or pulling up off the bounce as a senior, but showed here that he can do some damage when he can get himself going. He's not a great creator, but he's efficient and strong at the basket when he finds an opportunity.
On the defensive end, Mitchell doesn't have great lateral quickness, but he's smart, has quick hands, and did a fairly good job this week limiting penetration. Though he would surely struggle against NBA caliber shooting guards, Mitchell has some nice offensive tools that should help him wherever he lands next season.
The biggest question marks about Mitchell have always mostly revolved around off the court issues over the course of his career, as he repeatedly clashed with West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins, and was in and out of his dog house continually. His body language isn't always the best and his shot-selection can often be very poor, something we saw pop up on quite a few occasions over the week. He's been extremely inconsistent over the course of his career, alternating between performing brilliantly and being completely ineffective, sometimes in the same game.
Whether Mitchell is quite talented enough to overcome any red flags that will come up in NBA teams' information-gathering process is debatable, but it's difficult to ascertain how much of an issue this is without doing more background research. He's obviously a very talented scorer, so if he can find a way to put these things behind him, it's not out of the question