By Brendan Rourke
Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell is no stranger to scoring. Before stepping foot on the court as a professional WNBA player, she already had hauled in several accolades as a college athlete. Over her four-year career at Ohio State, she never finished a season with a scoring average of fewer than 22 points per game. She earned Big Ten Player of the Year honors three times and became Ohio State’s first four-time All-American. She also holds the NCAA’s record for career 3-pointers (497) and is second all-time in career points (3,402).
It is only fitting she’s making headlines in the WNBA this year.
Mitchell has been a bright spot on a Fever team that has struggled to pull off victories. In her fifth year with the team, she is averaging a career-high 19.2 points per contest. It ranks first on the team, a whopping 6.3 points per game higher than her rookie teammate, NaLyssa Smith. Of course, this is not to discredit Smith’s incredible WNBA debut but rather to highlight Mitchell’s phenomenal one.
Currently, Mitchell holds claim to the most 20-point games in the WNBA this season with 10 and has reached that mark in six of her last nine outings. She has contributed 14 double-figure games over the Fever’s 17 games this season, eclipsing that bar in eight of her last nine appearances. The elite guard started the season hot, finishing with no fewer than 15 points in each of the first five games. In the fifth game, she tallied a season-high 27 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including a perfect 4-of-4 from long range. She has posted 26 points three other times, including in the squad’s most recent game on June 15 against the Phoenix Mercury. In that game, she led the team in points scored, shots made (10), and time played (32:46). Her constant impressive outings give basketball fans plenty to watch. Her next chance to best her current top total will be on Sunday when the Fever host the third-best team in the league, the Chicago Sky. During the squad’s first matchup against the Sky in the Windy City, she dropped 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 2-of-4 from deep.
Overall, Mitchell’s scoring average currently ranks third in the WNBA this year. She trails behind Seattle forward and basketball legend Breanna Stewart and Las Vegas’ elite guard Kelsey Plum. Coincidentally, Plum is the only athlete that scored more points than Mitchell in college (3,527).
However, with 19 games remaining in the season, a potential WNBA scoring title is not out of reach. There is plenty of time to make up the 3.1 points per game that separate Mitchell and Stewart and certainly enough to jump her college rival, Plum. Mitchell trails Plum in the scoring department by just 0.9 points per game.
But regardless of how the scoring standings shake out, one thing is true. Mitchell has been a consistent contributor in all five years with the Fever, averaging 16.2 points per season. She has taken a major step forward in 2022, earning her the right to make her first career All-Star team. Fans can help her achieve that dream by voting for Mitchell. Voting ends on June 20.