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The transfer portal continues to run through college athletics like a hot knife through butter. Pepperdine transfer point guard Mike Mitchell Jr. committed to Minnesota Wednesday becoming their first addition from the transfer portal this offseason. Listed at 6-foot-2, he averaged 11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 5.0 assists last season for the Waves. On3 sports ranked him as the 38th-best player in the portal and held other top offers from Clemson, Utah and Oregon State.
NEWS: Pepperdine transfer Mike Mitchell Jr. tells me he’s committed to Minnesota.
The sophomore guard averaged 11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and five assists this season. Shot 43.3% from the field and 44% from three.
Story: https://t.co/rWhLtHSRmZ pic.twitter.com/Gtst4kSRSA
— Joe Tipton (@TiptonEdits) March 29, 2023
Who is Mike Mitchell Jr.?:
Originally from San Jose, California, Mike Mitchell Jr. broke onto the basketball scene as a prep star at Archbishop Mitty High School. 247sports ranked him as the No. 136-best player in the 2021 recruiting class. He held other local offers from San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis before settling on Pepperdine. He made an impact in the West Coast Conference immediately, starting 32 of 32 games as a true freshman. After averaging 9.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per contest he was one of the best freshmen in the conference. He responded by averaging 11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 5.0 assists last season for the Waves. After entering the portal this offseason, he heard from a plethora of other power conference programs before settling on the Maroon & Gold.
- Scouting Report:
Listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Mitchell is a very smooth offensive player. He will not stun you with size or athleticism, but he has a terrific feel for the game. Much like Ta’lon Cooper last season, Mitchell will not be a lockdown defender for the Gophers, but I think he is not a liability on that end of the floor. He is another shot creator which this roster needs very badly. Expect him to have a major role on this team next season.
Mitchell Jr.’s final high school season was in the middle of COVID. This made it very hard for recruiters to get to his games and see him in person. As a top-170 recruit, this could’ve hurt his development, but through two seasons at Pepperdine, he has proven that he is more than capable of playing college basketball at a major-conference level. With Cam Christie and Braeden Carrington as the only natural guards on the roster, Minnesota had a serious need for a true point guard. Carrington and Christie certainly have the potential to run the offense, but adding Mitchell will now give them the chance to develop as true combo guards. This move certainly does not shoot the Gophers to the top of the Big Ten, but they added a very talented guard that will be able to create shots in the Big Ten, something this roster badly needed.
What is next?:
As the roster currently sits, Minnesota has at least three open scholarships remaining for next season. I expect them to still be very active when it comes to adding frontcourt depth. They need as much shot-creating and shooting as they can get. With the current roster, there is some solid depth in the frontcourt and I would assume Coach Johnson and his staff would be happy with going into next season with what they have. There is still some ways to go when it comes to competing in the Big Ten next season, but Mike Mitchell Jr. is a step in the right direction.
Projected Depth Chart:
- G: Mike Mitchell Jr.
- G: Braeden Carrington/Cameron Christie
- F: Isaiah Ihnen/Josh Ola-Joseph/Kadyn Betts
- F: Dawson Garcia/Parker Fox/Will Ramberg
- C: Pharrel Payne
- *Walk-ons: Jackson Purcell, Erick Reader