Just before Maryland took the floor against Wake Forest in the ACC tournament last month, Mark Turgeon landed a commitment from Charles Mitchell. And just after the Terps’ win over the Demon Deacons, the first-year coach appeared to give a not-so-subtle – but totally legal per NCAA rules – shout-out to the four-star power forward.
“This has been a great day — a great day — for Maryland basketball,” Turgeon said. “I can't talk about everything, but it's been a great day for us."
Mitchell, meanwhile, was relishing his new status as a Maryland-bound player. He fielded congratulatory tweets from friends and Terps fans, and conducted interviews about his commitment. But hearing what his future coach had said during that post-game news conference took Mitchell’s excitement to another level.
“It was a great feeling, just to know that he was excited that I was coming to Maryland,” Mitchell said. “I really knew then I made the right decision.”
In the weeks since he committed to Maryland, Mitchell hasn’t doubted his decision a bit. If anything, the future Terp is even more certain now that he’s headed to the right place for him. At the Capital Classic in Alexandria, Va., last weekend, Mitchell got a chance to “spend every second of every day” hanging out with four of his future teammates. Mitchell said all five future Terps “clicked” immediately.
“Personality-wise, I’m always the guy with a smile on his face that cheers the team up and always acts like a leader,” Mitchell said. “Coming into Maryland as a freshman, I’ll try to be vocal and lead just by speaking up. I’m always going to be vocal on and off the court.”
Maryland returns senior James Padgett at power forward next season, but Mitchell hopes to see minutes as a freshman. His goal between now and then is to lose 20 pounds and get into college-level playing shape.
“I’m looking forward to going in and playing right away and just working hard to get myself into the lineup,” Mitchell said. “I know I’m willing to work and fight just to make our team better. I’m trying to be one of the best rebounders in the ACC and get the team to the tournament next year.”
Name: Charles Mitchell
Birthdate: Oct. 23, 1993
Position: Power forward
High School: Wheeler High in Marietta, Ga.
Senior statistics: 18 points, 12 rebounds per game
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four-star prospect, No. 22 power forward, No. 92 player nationally. Scout.com -- Three-star prospect, No. 27 center. ESPN.com -- Three-star prospect, No. 12 player in Georgia, No. 23 center, 90 rating. 247Sports.com -- Four-star prospect, 91 rating.
Other schools considered: Florida State, Tennessee, Florida, Cincinnati
Favorite pro basketball player: “Carmelo Anthony. And I model my game after DeJuan Blair and Zach Randolph.”
Favorite pro basketball team: New York Knicks
Favorite all-time Terp: Len Bias
Favorite music: Jay Z and Wale
Favorite book: “A Child Called ‘It’” by Dave Pelzer
Favorite movie: “Coach Carter”
Favorite TV: ESPN
Favorite food: Hot wings
Favorite high school class: English
Favorite thing about College Park: “It has to be the fans.”
Hobbies: “Basketball, going out with friends, playing video games and just working on my game”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m always smiling and I like to dance a lot and I’m a great people person. I always like to be around people”
Best basketball moment: “It would have to be when I committed to the University of Maryland to play college basketball.”
Role model: “My role model would have to be my mother because of how hard she works and how independent she is and how much she does for others. That’s how I am – hard-working and determined.”
Why Maryland? “Maryland was the best fit for me because I thought I could help build it back to a winning program with Coach Turgeon. I just felt comfortable in College Park. And the Maryland fans were really excited. I love how much support they give.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun