Let me preface this by saying I know very little about Tony Mitchell, however count me as one of the ones who was in Manhattan tonight following my little D2 school (university of Alabama in Huntsville) take down North Texas in the opening round of the pre-season NIT. I've seen his stats so I understand the hype but he looked DREADFUL tonight.
Here in Huntsville we're one of the few D2 schools with length but I wholeheartedly expected to see HUGE numbers from him as he led UNT to a victory. Contrary he quietly scored his (roughly can't find a box score anywhere) 10 points, half coming at the free throw line. He looked clueless out there. I was excited to see him and dissapointed that the #5 pick in the mock draft could possibly have such a poor showing against such inferior competition. Happy for the win and we're partying down in Huntsville. But Mitchell just cast serious doubts in my book.
aran said he trying to play SF... doesn't sound good to me, i thought he would be a nice defensive PF.
I said this at right at the beginning of the season and immediately dropped him from my top 5 top that 10-14.
Then he started falling.
He would be better as an NBA PF. I like the Kenyon Martin comparison that this site gives, although Mitchell has slightly better ball handling.
I think that he is similar to thaddeus young, in that he could play the SF but he is better suited for the PF. His game is also similar to thaddeus young's
Hard to tell how good he is because he dominates small competition due to the fact he is bigger and more athletic but not particularly much more skilled.
He doesn't dominate small competition though.
Happy to Huntsville get the win..Their University was right behind the apartments where i use to live..And played on that court plenty of times...I played for Calhoun Jr. College,in Tanner,Alabama ,5 miles outside of Huntsville...
Mitchell is more of an energy guy...The type of player you want to fill a role....Not someone you can build a team around..His offense is still a work in progress,but he's a great athlete, has great defensive intincts and he's a solid rebounder..He can go anywhere in the draft from 5 to 14...Some scouts have compared him to guys that have had solid nba careers like Kenyon Martin,Brandon Bass & Shawn Marion ........And coaches love those guys becuz they work hard....
Creighton spanked them, wonder if he guarded McDermmot? Doug only had 21.
Congrats to Alabama Huntsville but I wouldn't read that much into it. He had 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks against Alabama Huntsville. He only attempted 4 shots, he was 2-4, 1-1 from 3, and 5-6 from the line. Simply put, he wasn't aggressive when you look at the numbers it's really not a bad game.
Against Creighton he had 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. 8-15 shooting, 2-5 from 3, no free throws attempted. So after 2 games we can't jump overboard. He's going to be a 4 in the league, especially since the league is playing smaller. He's going to be lik Josh Smith, he's a 4 that can also slide over to 3. His skills are still progressing but that's why players are drafted off of potential to hone those skills.
I saw a little bit of the Creighton game and they were still playing him a lot in the post. So a lot of his touches depended on his teammates' ability to get him the ball. Mitchell isn't on a good team, so the defense can just load up on him and deny his touches.
North Texas sophomore Tony Mitchell will declare for the NBA Draft.
Sources told CBSSports.com that the athletic 6-foot-8 forward will make the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday.
Mitchell began the season as a projected lottery pick, but his stock has fallen a bit. He is still projected as a late first-rounder by many NBA executives.
Mitchell averaged 13 points and 8.5 rebounds this season for a Mean Green team that struggled with a 12-20 record.
I cannot claim to have watched much Sun Belt basketball this year, but why would someone who shot 41.8% from the field and 30% from 3 while averaging all of 11.9 points per game in Sun Belt Conference play think he is ready for the NBA?
He's not, but he's a physical specimen who could be shaped and molded. He'll likely be the most athletic player in the draft. Also, the near future at North Texas looked really bleak. There was a huge step down in coaching with Johnny Jones leaving for LSU. Not only was Jones a better coach, but he was a good recruiter as well. His team lacked talent this past yr, but they also had a rash of injuries (3 season ending ones) that lead to even more defensive attention on Mitchell. I think he'll thrive in a situation where he's not the focal point of opposing defenses and can just fly around and be athletic. He never had the game to be a focal point of a team anyways.
IMO if he's taken anywhere past the late teens, he's really good value.
North Texas returned seven of its top eight from a team that was within minutes of making the NCAA tournament last year, including two guys who started their college time at Big Twelve schools. They had enough talent so that they should have been able to compete in the Sun Belt. Also, it was not as if the injured players left a huge offensive burden on Mitchell. Jordan Williams and Roger Franklin saw their share of the offensive load increase, and their shooting percentages still went up in Sun Belt. Tony Mitchell took fewer shots after Jones and Holmen went down, and still saw his percentages drop, points drop, and rebounds drop all while playing more minutes.
To say he is a good value is basically just saying any 6'7 to 6' 9 athlete is a good value after the 20th pick, so would you say the same of James McAdoo, Rodney Williams, Coty Clarke, Milton Jennings, Andre Robertson, Le'Bryan Nash, Trevor Mbakwe, Laurence Bowers, Adonis Thomas, and Okaro White? There are no shortage of really good athletes with similar physical traits who didn't have a bad year in the Sun Belt.
I was reading up on the plight of North Texas this yr and their lack of talent was a factor, but their lack of talent was even more magnified because they lost nearly 80 man games due to injury, over a hundred if you include season ending injuries before the season started.
Should they still have performed better in the Sun Belt? Yeah, probably, but it's not a good situation in North Texas and it'll be worse next yr.
I'd say the difference b/t Tony Mitchell and the other athletes that you mentioned is that he's the better athlete. I believe that he would be THE best athlete in this draft. Also, unlike guys like McAdoo, Nash or A.Thomas, Mitchell has shown glimpses of specific qualities that are coveted by NBA teams, namely, his combination of shot-blocking and rebounding.
I do have another caveat with my "good value" statement: if the team drafts him to be a PF. If the team drafts him to be a PF and puts in the work to mold him into a defensive minded, energy PF, sort of like a Josh Smith type, I think it'd be a good gamble. OTOH, if he wants to be a SF and the team that drafts him selects him to be a SF, then there is a much greater chance that it'll be a throw away pick or a typical late first rounder. It isn't like there is a whole lot at stake or a lot of risk involved in a pick past the late teens.
Observations from someone who attended UNT:
It's not a coincidence that Mitchell played better last year with Jordan Williams and Chris Jones academically ineligible. Too many chuckers on the floor this year.