Monday, April 21, 2014

Makhi & Makhel Mitchell - Keep, Keep Rising to the Top

We have been following Makhi and Makhel Mitchell since their reclassification to the class of 2019. After a quite start the twins have since began a journey to the top of the national ranking boards.  Each standing 6’6 their potential is now starting to clearly shine through.  As we have seen over the years with other twin combo’s; most recently the Harrison brothers, the Plumlee’s, and the Morris twins they too are being drilled in the same school of learning; making it just as hard to tell them apart on the court as off.  The forethought to build their perimeter games exclusively was met initially with a strange curiosity as their height and skill set would have allowed them to dominates opponents as back to the baskets threats – but by sticking to their guns; the situation has transferred the two of them into two of the top players in their class nationally with as much potential and as much upside as any player in the country.  At their current heights as 7th graders in theory; they could transition to the next two level without growing a single inch; intellectually knowing that this isn’t going to the be the case we are likely discussing 6’9 to 6’11 wing with length with the ability to effectively play a perimeter orientated game.

Currently they are both ultra-long but boast weight barring frames that under the proper tutelage will be developed into physically imposing and dominant figures.  Very skilled and becoming more athletic as their foot-speed and quickness improve, they can both also put the ball on the floor and shoot it with range to 17-feet, although inconsistent at this stage, you can clearly see the continued progression and improvement from game to game as they are figuring out how to dominate a game in the interior while displaying the ability to step outside of 12-feet and make things happen off both the catch and shoot and the pull-up mid-range game.  We are also impressed with their unselfish nature and vision that allows them to handle and still find the open teammate; especially now that they are consistently facing double teams each time out.  Their tendency to play in spurts is going away and we are now seeing full game production on both ends – big, mobile, and skilled their long strides allow for lots of defensive make-up ability and they are rebounding on the defensive glass from out of their areas at the same time they are blocking at best case or altering at worse case the oppositions field goal attempts. 

The variety of shots and finishes from the various spots on the floor make their progress scary good when considering they are still 18-months from a high school campus.  Learning to win and making that a standard is also a box that is getting checked off as they have won multiple tournaments/games in recent months – the club is gradually improving their competition level and they performed well at the recent BBall Spotlight event which had some very high level competition.  The only real remaining question is how they will perform on the National stage under those type of lights and pressure – not having done it before; allowing them the opportunity prior to Nationals would be ideal, but if not success may be imminent regardless. 

Clearly we have a set of emerging stars, clearly they are headed to the top positions within their class, clearly they will be making a High School program very happy – stay tuned over the next few years as this clearly is only the beginning for the Mitchell twins.

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