After Maryland beat Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC Tournament, we already knew today was going to be a good day. But then it got even better: the Terrapins picked up a commitment from 2012 four-star big man Charles Mitchell, a Georgia native, just before the start of the game.
Mitchell, who also had offers from Tennessee, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Memphis, among others, visited College Park last weekend. He apparently had a good time, pulling the trigger on his commitment just days later. This is the second large recruiting battle Maryland's staff has won, first beating out a variety of high-majors for Jake Layman and now pulling a highly-regarded big man out of the south, which isn't an easy task. (Seth Allen and Damonte Dodd were about scouting, while Shaquille Cleare was nearly a Terp before Turgeon ever took the job.)
Standing a 6-7 and 250 pounds, Mitchell is a bit undersized height-wise but makes up for it with some serious girth and great intensity. He's a three-star prospect on both ESPN and Scout, but is ranked as a four-star, top-100 prospect by both Rivals and 247. He's a consensus top-100 prospect, and his ranking should only rise with time.
Maryland lacks real frontcourt depth, which is the big reason this is such an important commitment. Mitchell can step in and give serious minutes at either frontcourt spot right away, which will keep Maryland's bigs fresher and give the Terrapins a lot of flexibility. It also gives them a buffer that they didn't have earlier: if there's no attrition they can afford to redshirt Damonte Dodd, and they don't have to worry about depth if for some reason they do lose a big man.
As for Mitchell's game: he's definitely a space-eater, and he'll use his girth to establish position on the blocks on both ends of the floor and while rebounding. He's a hard worker with a really nice motor, which makes him effective on the boards and should allow him to improve with time. He also has soft hands and a nice touch around the rim, and he can go to work on the low block and be an outlet for points, either with some nice post moves or the ability to hit a short jumper or hook.
What Mitchell needs to improve on now is physical. He's a bit heavier than he needs to be, and needs to slim down a bit and become more defined, much the same way Jordan Williams needed to do when he came into the program. He's not particularly athletic and doesn't have much lift when he jumps; similarly, he struggles with conditioning, and will probably have issues with playing huge minutes at this level right away. His size, at around 6-7, is also far from ideal and will probably keep him from being an elite big man at this level.
Regardless, he has some nice skill, great work ethic, and really nice touch. He has the potential to be an eventual starter at this level and make an immediate impact off the bench. He's part of a large and talented class for Maryland, which should provide both instant help and provide a long-term base.
People will inevitably make mention of the aforementioned Dodd, but let me say unequivocally: their commitments fill different needs for Maryland. Dodd was not picked up because Mark Turgeon needed post help immediately; Dodd was picked up because Turgeon saw a raw talent that, with time, could be turned into a high-major player. Dodd has nothing to do with Mitchell; their timeframes are completely different. All this means is that Dodd will almost certainly be able to get more practice time before being thrown into high-major play, and that's a good thing.
Highlights below. Enjoy: