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ACC News and Notes: Caleb Mills Transferring, Jake Heidbreder to Clemson, Mark Mitchell Returns, Nickel Stays in Conference



PITTSBURGH – Another jam-packed day of ACC news and notes surrounds the conference nearing the end of the week. Florida State, Clemson, and Duke represent the teams making major headlines Thursday. 

Florida State Guard Caleb Mills Enters Portal

Redshirt junior Caleb Mills starred for the Seminoles in two seasons at Florida State. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 13 points and three rebounds per game in 32 appearances, starting all but one game for Leonard Hamilton. He shot 41% from the floor and a career-low 29% from behind the arc but totaled career highs in steals (43) and blocks (19).

Mills played for the Houston Cougars his first two years, scoring a team-best 13.2 points per contest his redshirt freshman year while making 50 shots behind the arc during the 2019-20 season. He played in four games the following year before deciding to leave the program. 

He scored 11 points and grabbed a season-high seven rebounds in Florida State’s 71-64 win at Pitt on Jan. 21 and 16 points in the rematch from Tallassee on Feb. 11, an 83-75 Panther victory. Mills shot 4-for-11 in both games facing the Panthers.

Air Force Transfer Jake Heidbreder Commits to Clemson

Air Force sophomore guard Jake Heidbreder is looking for a new home. The 6-foot-5 Floyds Knobs, Indiana native was named 2023 All-Mountain West Third Team, averaging a team-high 15.1 points per game. He also led the team in scoring during conference play (14.2 ppg) while shooting 49% overall from the floor. A 40% shooter from three, Heidbreder also averaged 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Heidbreder started all 61 games he played for Air Force over the past two seasons. He scored 786 points (12.9 avg) in over 33 minutes. The shooting threat adds to a Clemson team that finished third in the ACC regular-season standings but missed the NCAA Tournament. Clemson finished the season 23-11 overall and 14-6 in conference competition.

Mark Mitchell Returning to Duke for Sophomore Season

Days after Tyrese Proctor announced his return and Dariq Whitehead declared for the 2023 NBA Draft, freshman forward Mark Mitchell is returning to Duke for another year. Back for his sophomore season, Mitchell averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, starting all 35 games for the Blue Devils under first-year coach Jon Scheyer. He totaled 22 steals and 18 blocks while shooting 47% from the floor in over 27 minutes per contest.

Mitchell scored in double figures in both appearances against the Panthers. Inside Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 11, Mitchell totaled 10 points and nine rebounds in 35 minutes as Duke rallied to win at home. In the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals, the former four-star recruit scored 12 on 4-of-8 shooting in Duke’s blowout win. He returns to join a loaded 2023-24 recruiting class and Proctor by his side looking to rebound from their second-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.

Tyler Nickel Stays in ACC, Transfers to Virginia Tech

North Carolina freshman transfer guard Tyler Nickel has found a home while remaining in the ACC. Nickel committed to the Virginia Tech Hokies Thursday night, according to Joe Tipton of on3. A former four-star recruit from Harrisonburg, Virginia, Nickel played in 25 games off the bench for the Heels.

He scored a career-best 16 points on Dec. 13 against The Citadel but only averaged 2.1 points in 152 total minutes, playing six per game. The 6-foot-7 guard scored two points against Pitt in both of the team’s matchups, logging six minutes both times. Virginia Tech finished the 2022-23 season 19-15 overall and 8-12 in ACC play. The team lost to Cincinnati in the first round of the NIT.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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