"Charles Mitchell I think is one of the most underrated guys in the country because he was a little overweight but he has a great feel for the game," Turgeon said. "He had the best practice [Monday] because he was at his lowest weight total."
Turgeon noted that Mitchell has dropped 15 pounds since he came to College Park. Strength and conditioning coach Kyle Tarp got a shoutout from Turgeon for his work with Mitchell and fellow plus-sized freshman Shaquille Cleare, whom nearly everyone expects to play a significant role on this Terps team.
But Mitchell, as Turgeon said, was a bit underrated coming out of Wheeler High in Marietta, Ga. Rivals.com was the biggest believer in Mitchell, giving him a four-star rating and slotting him as the No. 22 power forward nationally and the No. 92 prospect in the 2012 class. 247Sports.com also gave Mitchell four-star billing. Scout.com (three stars, No. 27 center) and ESPN.com (three stars, No. 23 center) were less enthusiastic about the Terp's potential.
If you look at film on Mitchell from high school, you see a surprisingly nimble big man who can put the ball on the floor, finish at the rim and hit the turnaround jumper. Scout.com's Evan Daniels acknowledged as much in an interview the day Mitchell committed to the Terps. "He let his body go a little bit last summer, but he’s got a chance to be a good player at Maryland," Daniels said.
Now, according to Turgeon, Mitchell's conditioning is where it needs to be. Cleare and Alex Len are Maryland's most talented bigs, and James Padgett, by all accounts, has had a great offseason and brings a veteran presence. But a motivated Mitchell should provide Maryland with athleticism on the block, and produce matchup problems against bigger, less mobile 4-men. How many minutes per game Mitchell sees is very much up for debate, but I think it will be tough to keep him off the floor.