Tony Mitchell’s big chance to improve his stock before the NBA draft begins today in the NBA Draft Combine up in Chicago.
I never got a hold of Mitchell, but did write a story about the combine for today’s paper.
Last year was a tough one for Mitchell. Johnny Jones left for LSU, Brandan Walton went down early, Chris Jones got hurt in January, the big guy who was supposed to play next to him followed Jones to LSU and UNT really floundered on its way to a 12-20 record while everyone UNT played made sure to take Mitchell out of his comfort zone.
Along the way, Mitchell went from being projected as a potential lottery pick to being slotted by many at the end of the first round.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mitchell’s stock begin to rise again this week. Mitchell is a freak athlete, good defensively and has a good enough offensive skill set to develop. He’s not going to be asked to carry a team in the NBA. Roger Franklin told me at Mitchell’s press conference that he would be able to settle in and play to his strengths. If he lands on a good team that takes him in the mid-to-late first round, he could end up being in just the right spot to develop. He could use some good influences and guys who could push him.
And in other news, the NCAA golf regionals start today. UNT is out in Pullman, Wash., trying to advance for the third straight year. UNT has four seniors playing, including two who are playing in the regional for the fourth straight year. Here is the story in today’s paper. UNT has come up short of getting out of the regional round in each of the last two years.