Kelsey Mitchell was selected No. 2 overall by the Indiana Fever in the 2018 WNBA Draft. She was the top guard prospect in the 2018 WNBA draft because of her history as one of the most prolific scorers in collegiate women’s basketball history. Mitchell is the second-leading scorer ever behind last year’s No. 1 pick, Kelsey Plum, finishing with 3,402 total. That’s 24.5 points per game over 139 games.
The Indiana Fever are gaining an elite bucket-getter and fans should be really excited about this.
Mitchell was Ohio State basketball’s star from the moment she walked onto campus. With 853 points, the 5’8 guard finished with the second-most points for a freshman in Division 1 women’s hoops history, and records continued on from there.
Kelsey Mitchell with that OOOOHWEEEE crossover!! She so MEAN and VICIOUS pic.twitter.com/oSQp8lGTFl— PassThaBall.com (@PassThaBall) January 6, 2018
Even in an early Round of 32 loss in this season’s NCAA Tournament, Mitchel dropped 28 points and made 6-of-16 threes. She put the finishing touches on her record for most consecutive games with a three at 91, and was her usual dominant self.
Why Fever fans be excited about Mitchell
Whether it’s off-the-dribble or off assists from teammates, Mitchell really knows how to find the bottom of the net. Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird’s compared her to Steph Curry, because you never know what she’s about to do with the ball, and that couldn’t be more accurate.
Mitchell can drive through the lane and dish, go up-and-under under a forest of 6-foot trees, and most impressively stop and pull-up from anywhere. Her range is limitless.
She made 40 percent of her 9.1 three-point attempts per game, which is otherworldly. In four seasons, she’s never attempted less than 8.8 attempts or shot worse than 37 percent. She’s the perfect guard fit for a changing WNBA that’s valuing shots from range more than ever. According to the New York Times, three-pointers have increased by 23 percent since 2014. Mitchell’s only going to raise that bar.
How ESPN analyst LaChina Robinson sees Mitchell’s fit:
“They don’t have Briann January anymore, and from what I understand Shenise Johnson won’t be ready to start this season. In my opinion, they need a player who can play that 1-2 combo. I think Pokey’s excited to see what Kelsey Mitchell can be as a passer. She took a lot of shots and scored a lot of baskets. That was her role and what she was expected to do. But they’ve seen some other dimensions of her game as she’s been asked to move into the 1-spot in some situations. But that’s just a guess of mine.”
Should fans be worried about Mitchell?
Mitchell checks every box as an all-around offensive star. She scores, she rebounds well (3.4 per game over her career), creates plays for others (4.1 assists per game), and has really improved her control with the ball. As a freshman, she turned it over four times per game, and by her second season she cut that number in half.
The questions for her are on the defensive end. At 5’8 she’s on the shorter side, though she’s no frail body. She isn’t known for her work on that side of the ball, but in all reality she won’t have to be an elite defender to be an All-Star. She’ll just need to stay aggressive firing the ball up.