I have had this story sitting on my desktop for the last week.
You know what’s coming. Once Tony Mitchell and UNT called the press conference, some people close to him said it’s safe to run. Here it is:
Tony Mitchell is leaving North Texas and will declare for the NBA Draft, a source close to the situation told the Denton Record-Chronicle on Monday.
UNT will hold a press conference at Apogee Stadium on Wednesday to officially announce the decision that will bring his brief career with the Mean Green to a close.
Mitchell averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds while playing in 55 games over two seasons at UNT. He maintained throughout the season that he would sit down with his coaches and family at the end of the season to discuss his future.
“Coach, my family and I will sit down and talk about it,” Mitchell said following a season-ending loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
Multiple sources close to Mitchell said that those discussions have been taking place since late this week.
Most draft projections have Mitchell slated to be selected in the first round, despite a tough sophomore season for the former Dallas Pinkston standout. The 6-foot-8 forward was named to multiple preseason All-American teams this summer, but was only named to the All-Sun Belt Conference second team.
Mitchell saw his scoring and rebounding numbers drop from his freshman year totals while playing under first-year head coach Tony Benford, who led UNT to a 12-20 record.
Mitchell averaged 14.7 points and 10.3 rebounds as a freshman, when he didn’t become eligible until the second semester and played in just 23 games under former head coach Johnny Jones.
Mitchell briefly considered declaring for the NBA draft before electing to return to UNT. Jones left to take over at LSU after Mitchell decided to return to Denton.
Mitchell averaged 13.0 points and 8.5 rebounds a game as a sophomore while playing for an injury-riddled team that three key players to season-ending injuries.