There was no prospect that benefitted more from the 2021 NCAA Tournament than Baylor junior guard Davion Mitchell.
The 22-year-old was a standout star during his final collegiate season, averaging 14.0 points, 5.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting an efficient 51.1 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from 3-point range. His efforts not only led to a National Championship and an All-NCAA Tournament Team bid, but also some highly touted conference awards like Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big-12 First Team honours.
But what does Mitchell bring to the NBA franchise that selects him?
Mitchell's greatest strength is far and away his tenacity on the defensive end.
At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds of what appears to be all muscle, the 22-year-old guard has a case as the best perimeter defender in this draft class.
His in-your-face defence pairs well with his quickness and physicality to make life as difficult as possible for opposing ball-handlers. He's pesky and gritty on that end of the floor, taking pride in shutting down his opponents with a willingness to pick up his assignment as far as 94-feet from the basket. His lateral quickness and defensive instincts allow him to often beat opponents to their spot, drawing charges or swiping steals without fouling.
Offensively, Mitchell is shifty and explosive. He can play with or without the ball in his hands and is comfortable as a scorer from all three levels of the floor. He uses his body and strength well to capitalize on his burst and speed to get downhill. And he's more than capable of stopping on a dime and pulling up from midrange or beyond the arc.
He has a tight handle and solid court vision as a sound playmaker - a true combo guard at the next level.
While Mitchell has a lightning-quick first step, great body control and breakaway speed, he's not much of a leaper.
He was able to muscle his way to below-the-rim finishes at the college level, but he may have to develop a consistent floater to finish amongst the trees in the NBA.
And speaking of consistency, Mitchell shot the lights out his final year in college - knocking down 44.7 percent of his 3s - which was a significant improvement over the 28.8 percent he shot as a freshman at Auburn and 32.4 percent he shot in his first season as a sophomore at Baylor. While his jumper looked smooth from both beyond the arc and midrange, can he keep that rhythm going over multiple seasons?
On defence, his heart, hustle and energy make up for what he lacks in length, but that may limit him to only defending guards as primary assignments at the next level.
Projected NBA Draft Position: Top-10 pick
Projected NBA Role: Two-way combo guard
Shades of: Donovan Mitchell, Jrue Holiday, George Hill
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.