Tide Basketball Finds Rain Man In Georgia
‘BAMA Magazine/BamaMag.com spoke to the Scout.com 78th rated player overall and two of his coaches after he announced the choice publically Wednesday afternoon to attend Alabama. Devin Mitchell is viewed as a premiere shooter with defense as the one aspect of his game in the developmental stage.
Why did you select Alabama?
"Alabama seemed like the right fit for me with everything I was looking for in a school. The academics are very good and the players I want to play with, Riley (Riley Norris) and Justin (Justin Coleman) are committed to Alabama. We talked about playing together for a while. I have a comfort level with the coaching staff. It's not every day you find a whole staff that believes in you and is confident in you. They are going to fight with me to the very end. I felt like Coach Grant, Coach Brannen, Coach Pettway and Coach Pujol, they are going to do that for me. They have all the confidence in the world in me. The opportunity is there for me to come in and help the team right away."
What will you bring to the program?
"'Bama has guys on the roster right now that are good and creators and penetrators. They are missing shot makers. That is what I can bring to the table. I can definitely help their guards out by hitting shots when they penetrate and kick out. It's going to be raining threes in T-Town. He (Grant) is going to let us (Mitchell, Norris and Coleman) shoot them so I can't wait."
Why are you a fan of Justin Coleman?
"Justin is the best point guard I've played with. He is the guy I wanted to play with at the same school. We are very comfortable together which is big for us. I've never had a point guard find me like he does. I love playing with him. He is a great point guard. We met this year playing for the Georgia Stars (AAU team). He was my roommate. We traveled all over together. He is someone I just met a few months ago but I feel I've known him for a while."
Why are you a fan of Riley Norris?
Riley and I played with each other one time at the UAB elite camp two years ago. We clicked right away on the very first play. We ran a screen and roll and he popped. I threw a pass to him and he hit a three. I popped for him the next play down and I hit a three. I never heard of this dude and he never heard of me. We played well together."
Why does the Chicago (Schaumburg, IL) area native wear number 23?
"My Dad (Cameron Mitchell) always wore 32. Once I started playing I did not want to top my Dad so I switched it around. Growing up in Chicago you see 23 (reference to Michael Jordan) everywhere but I mainly wore it because of my Dad. We moved to Atlanta area when I was 11 years old."
What facets of your game must improve?
"I will be trying to get a lot stronger since I'm going to play in the SEC. I work hard on defense but I've got to get this down. I have to play hard all the time. I'm going to be very focused on the defensive end. I think offensively I'll be fine."
What should the people of Alabama know about you?
"I am really excited to be coming to Alabama. We want to get Coleman Coliseum back to a high standard and get things going. I can't wait."
Eric Nathan, head boys basketball coach, Collins Hill HS (Suwanee, GA):
What are the contributions Devin Mitchell can make to the Alabama program?
"First and foremost Alabama is getting a great kid. He is one of the most likeable, engaging players ever to come through our program. He is liked by his teammates, peers and teachers. The professors at Alabama will love him. On the court you are getting someone that is a hard worker that wants to get better and is very coachable. Above all he is a player that can score. That is what he does best. A couple of years ago he was just a shooter. Now he will find ways to score."
Norman Parker, founder and director of the Georgia Stars AAU program and assistant coach 17U Elite Team:
What has been the transformation of Devin Mitchell since he has played for the Georgia Stars the last four years?
"He has grown and matured. He is just a pure shooter who understands the game. His scoring, shooting and ball-handling has really developed. He has worked hard. Some say Devin is not as athletic as some but I will tell you he will work as hard as anyone. He is going to be an asset to any team he selects. He is very clever with the ball but make no mistake about it he is a two-guard that can make threes. His perimeter game and depth to shoot the trey is incredible. When he gets hot I've seen him sink four or five threes in a row. I think he is a percentage shooter. When you are coaching him, you always think the ball is going to go in. We gave him the green light. He's got great form and a lot of confidence in his shot. That goes a long way. He can attack the basket with his ball-handling but he is not a high flyer. He is an intelligent player. He can stretch the defense by putting a lot of pressure on them because of his range. He is a high character kid and will be a low maintenance guy."
2012-13 junior season:
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