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6-foot-10 Mitchell twins leaving Maryland men’s basketball team

Twin brothers Makhi and Makhel Mitchell committed to the Maryland men’s basketball earlier than most — before their junior year at Wilson High in Washington.

The 6-foot-10 power forwards, who were often subbed for each other throughout the first dozen games of their college career, are now leaving sooner than any Terp in recent memory — after less than two months.

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It was a “mutual decision,” according to a joint statement released by the team Friday night. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon and the Mitchells put their names in the NCAA transfer portal, the statement continued.

“I want to thank Makhel and Makhi for their contributions to the program,” Turgeon said in the statement. “This was a decision we felt was best for both sides and we wish them and their family the very best moving forward.”

In the statement, the Mitchells said, “We want to thank Coach Turgeon for the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland. We are extremely appreciative of our time in College Park, but decided it was best to seek a new opportunity.”

Makhi Mitchell, a four-star prospect who was considered the better of the two players coming out of high school, had played in all 12 games and was averaging 3.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in a little over nine minutes a game.

Makhel Mitchell, who was a three-star prospect in high school, had played in 10 games and was averaging one point and 2.3 rebounds in a little under seven minutes a game.

Both players had, at times, provided Maryland some much-needed muscle after the departure last spring of Bruno Fernando, now a rookie with the Atlanta Hawks

In Maryland’s 88-63 win over George Mason on Nov. 21, Makhi Mitchell scored a career-high 12 points with eight rebounds and two blocks in only 10 minutes. As recently as Dec. 10, when the then-No. 5 ranked Terps lost, 76-69, at then-unranked Penn State, Makhi Mitchell grabbed six rebounds in 16 minutes. He played as many as 19 minutes in a win over Temple en route to Maryland’s championship in the Orlando Invitational.

Makhel Mitchell’s playing time was more sporadic, but in what turned out to be his final game at Maryland — in a 52-48 loss at Seton Hall on Dec. 19 — he had three blocked shots, including two on the same possession, in just five minutes to help the Terps make a late, though, unsuccessful comeback. His brother also played just five minutes in what was also his last game.

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The announcement of the Mitchells’ departure comes as 7-foot-2 freshman center Chol Marial appears ready to start his college career. Marial, who was ranked among the nation’s top players as a sophomore in high school before a recurring case of shin splints nearly derailed his career, dressed for the first time for Seton Hall after undergoing surgery in early September to help heal stress fractures in both legs.

Marial could make his playing debut when the now 13th-ranked Terps host Bryant on Sunday.

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