One on one with Shelton Mitchell

Right now the class of 2014 is a bit murky for Blue Devil fans. That's because Duke is working to land a number of high major prospects in the class of 2013. One position of need, however, will be the point guard position, and one in-state prospect has seen his stock begin to rise. TDD chats with Waxhaw (N.C.) standout Shelton Mitchell to discuss recruiting and Duke's recent contact with him.

TDD: Before we get to basketball related stuff, tell us a bit about your interests away from the court.

Shelton Mitchell: I pretty much just hang out with a core group of friends. We do normal kid stuff like watching TV, playing video games…stuff like that. I don't like to go out all that much.

Any favorite shows?

I really like this show called Boondocks [on Cartoon Network]. That's my favorite show right now.

You've gotten some increased recruiting attention of late. How have you adjusted to that?

It's all right. Before i wasn't known that much, but now that I'm getting to be known more nationally, and it's really great seeing my hard work pay off.

Growing up, did you have a lot of specific goals when it came to basketball?

Basically just to keep getting better each year was the main thing. Before I got ranked, my goal was to make the rankings in the Top 50. Now that I've made the Top 50, I want to keep going higher to where I'm hopefully considered one of the best players in the class.

Now that the various class of 2014 rankings are being released, and more guys are being ranked, how do you feel you fit in with those players?

I've never been the type to want to call attention to myself, but now that I'm ranked and being looked at more I just want to keep getting better and keep moving up and I'll keep competing.

Is there anybody that pushes you to have such a motivation?

Basically I've always just motivated myself. I don't get too big headed and I stay hungry. I basically play hard for myself, my family and my coaches.

Do you look forward to competing against the other good guards that are in your class?

Yeah, I do enjoy competing against other good players, but it's not like i pay too much attention to it. I try hard to stay within myself and keep getting better.

Now that the new phone rules are in place, how are you and your family handling the increase in texts and phone calls?

The new rules are OK. Before it was mostly where the coaches would reach me through maybe my AAU coach or something at setup times. Now they call me or text me anytime so you don't know who is going to contact you each day. It's motivating to see who is coming in with contact.

Do you like the increase in contact with coaches?

It really doesn't matter to me that much. i just talk to the coaches or text and see what they have to say. My mom, my dad and my AAU and HS coaches are taking the calls mostly.

What kind of things are they telling you to pay attention to about the coaches and programs recruiting you?

The big thing is making sure I choose a good school that has a good academic program so I can stay on track with my academic goals and figure out what schools fit you the best.

Do your academic goals include any specific major at this point?

Yeah, I'm really interested in broadcast journalism when I go to college.

What drew your interest in wanting to major in broadcast journalism?

Basically just watching guys on TV, especially those who get to do interviews with players before and after the games. Being around basketball is what gave me the interest to do that. I just love being around other players and I think broadcast journalism is something that relates.

When thinking on the decision making process how do you balance the basketball interests against the academic ones?

It leans towards basketball, but I also think it's important that I go to a school that will set me up for life after basketball. Both basketball and academics are a big part of the decision.

Do you consider yourself a four year player or an early entry candidate?

I'm not really thinking about anything other than getting to college, seeing how I do at that level, and talking with my coaches.

Do you see yourself as being the point guard with the ball in his hands who creates or more of a scorer or combo guy?

I want to come in play because I'm used to being the guy playing with my teammates and getting them setup and playing that role. My main thing is I want to be a good player in college and I'm most comfortable with the ball in my hands. If a school wants me to play with another guy in the backcourt and we play off each other, that won't be a big deal to me.

Are you the type who will look at the depth chart at schools you consider to see who is at the guard spots, or is that not a big deal?

It is to a point. Like i said, I do want to come in and play and have the ball some in my hands, but I'm not going to turn down a school just because they have a guy at my position. At the end of the day, we all have to go to school and share minutes and play with other guys. I'll just want to go in and show what I'm capable of doing for the team, just like all the other guys will be doing.

How did CP3 come into the picture for you to play with that AAU team?

Basically it was one of their coaches came and watched several of my high school games and asked me to play. Playing with CP3 is great because you are playing for one of the best point guards in the NBA, and I'm a point guard too so that was a big part of me deciding to play for CP3. Playing for his team helps me so much because him being at the highest level, he shows me so much about how to be a great player and a great PG.

I've played with Chris a few times and he's always been great to tell me things to work on and i can always talk with him on the phone, he makes himself available for me to ask questions, it's really great.

What's it like getting to play in the same program as Theo Pinson?

Playing with him is just really great because he wants what's best for you, and him being so highly ranked, he always wants to pick you up. Like playing together at LeBron's Skills Academy, he looked after me there, it was great playing with him.

Do you have a lot of friends on the circuit or do you play for the competition of it?

I know some guys from different teams and camps and I'll get to know different guys, but I also do take it with a competitive manner.

Shifting into your recruitment, who are the schools that have recruited you for the longest period of time?

Schools that have been there the longest are Wake Forest and Charlotte

How about the more recent schools?

Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Stanford, Miami, and Washington; those are the most recent ones.

What are your thoughts on potentially playing on the West Coast?

Yeah, that's where I'm from, so that's something i'll look at for sure.

Who has been in contact with you from the Carolina and Duke coaching staffs?

WIth Duke it's been Coach Wojo. We texted a few times and then we talked. He told me that they were going to be at every one of my games this summer. From Carolina I've heard from Coach McGrath a couple of times on the phone. Both of those guys seem like good guys and Coach Wojo indicated he's looking forward to being at every one of my games this summer to see how I do.

Was there anything else that either Coach Wojo or Coach McGrath indicated to you in your conversations with them?

Yeah Coach Wojo said I'm one of their priorities this summer to watch. Actually, both of them said that. They both said they want to get a good look at PG's in my class this summer.

Did you grow up watching Carolina and Duke?

I grew up watching both, but I wasn't a fan of one more than the other. I just watched them because I was a fan of college basketball and they are two very good teams.

How much of a consideration is it for you to look at past guards that those schools have had in the past?

Yeah, it's something to look at because they've had some really good players who have gone to the NBA from the point guard slot. That's something I'll look at for sure.

Are you planning on taking a lot of visits?

Basically when my family is free is the big consideration. It doesn't have to do much with whether the players are on campus or time of year, it's more when my family and I are available.

What kind of style of play are you drawn to?

I think I want to play in a style where it's not just get out and run all the time. I want to play in a style where you can both play fast or go setup up the offense and run a play. That's something i'll be looking at.


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