Tag:Tony Mitchell
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:13 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:47 pm
 

Freshman of the Year: Nash makes his case

Le'Bryan Nash has been up and down, but 27 points in an upset of Missouri cemented his spot in the rankings. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

The top freshmen in the country have been pretty stagnant lately, with the top four staying the same for the most part the past few weeks. Even the back end of the rankings didn’t see much movement this week – and it’s because many newcomers are beginning to hit a bit of a wall in conference play. They’re becoming more inconsistent, as teams key on them and organize defenses to stop them. It seems every time we look to add a player to the rankings, he goes out and struggles immensely. Consistency will be the key going forward. 

The Freshman of the Year rankings are released every Thursday afternoon, shortly after Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish’s Player of the Year rankings.

1. Anthony Davis, Kentucky (Last Week: 1): 13.2 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 4.7 bpg, 62.9 FG%
Davis didn’t have his best offensive week the past two games, going just 3-for-12 from the field for 15 total points. He’s still a menace defensively and on the boards.

2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (Last Week: 2): 13.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg
Kidd-Gilchrist was up to his old tricks against Alabama and Georgia. He had a great first half against Alabama, before fouling out, and had a solid all-around effort against Georgia.

3. Trey Burke, Michigan (Last Week: 3): 14.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.0 apg
Burke’s shooting has fallen off the past two games, going just 9-for-29 from the field. However, his playmaking and passing has been better, averaging 6.0 assists in that span.

4. Cody Zeller, Indiana (Last Week: 4): 15.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 65.9 FG%
His performance against Penn State over the weekend was vintage Cody Zeller: 7-for-8 from the field, 18 points, four blocks – and four rebounds.

5. Moe Harkless, St. John’s (Last Week: 7): 15.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg
Harkless had one of the better freshman weeks in the country. He went for 23 points and 13 boards against West Virginia, following a great all-around game against Villanova.

6. Brad Beal, Florida (Last Week: 6): 14.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Beal has been a bit passive the past couple of games, but he’s been efficient. The 3-pointer has returned, too; he’s 7-for-13 in his last three games from behind the arc.

7. Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State (Last Week: 8): 13.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Nash is still too inconsistent, but he bounced back from a four-shot performance against Kansas State with 27 points, four boards and four assists against Missouri. 

8. Tony Wroten, Washington (Last Week: 5): 16.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.3 apg
Wroten has been erratic shooting the ball lately and his turnovers are on the rise again. He’s much better when he’s creating off the dribble. 

9. Austin Rivers, Duke (Last Week: NR): 14.2 ppg
He started the game against Wake Forest on the bench; it clearly woke him up. He’s averaging 16.3 points in his last three games, shooting 5-for-12 from 3-point range. 

10. Tony Mitchell, North Texas (Last Week: NR): 15.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 63.1 FG%
The Mean Green lost on Wednesday night and Mitchell was in foul trouble, but he’s dominating the Sun Belt. Went for 30 points and 17 rebounds over the weekend.

Notes:

  • Justin Edwards of Maine dropped out from his second turn in the mid-major slot. He’s had subpar offensive performances the mpast three games, shooting just 14-for-34 from the field, with 17 turnovers.
  • Rutgers’ Eli Carter has fallen off a bit, regressing back to his season averages. He’s putting up 10 points per game in his last four. He also dropped out.
  • Based on stats, Georgetown’s Otto Porter wouldn’t be anywhere close to the rankings. But he does the little things – like coming up big down the stretch vs. Rutgers – that make him a candidate every week.
  • Baylor’s Quincy Miller might have been the last one off the list. He averaged 22.3 points in a three-game stretch, but had just five against Oklahoma.
  • Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant averaged 13 points and five assists in wins over Syracuse and Seton Hall. For a guy who didn’t play the point in high school, his vision and playmaking have been exceptional.
  • Michigan State’s Branden Dawson has been extremely efficient the past two games, shooting 13-for-17 from the field and averaging 15.0 points.
  • D’Angelo Harrison of St. John’s is looking to work himself back into the discussion. He’s averaging 23.5 points in his last two, shooting 14-for-30 from the field.
  • Still waiting for Andre Drummond to step up and dominate. He was completely neutralized against Cincinnati and Tennessee.
  • Rough go for Xavier’s Dezmine Wells the past two games. He was shut out against Saint Louis, after managing just five points against Dayton.
  • Juan’ya Green is the Niagara frosh that gets the most attention, but what about Antoine Mason? He’s a redshirt freshman and is averaging 15.1 points this season.
  • Louisiana Tech’s Raheem Appleby has stepped up his game tremendously lately. He’s averaging 19.0 points in his last five games.
  • Freshman leaders – Points: Kyle Vinales  Central Connecticut State (18.6); Rebounds: Anthony Davis, Kentucky (10.3); Assists: Dylan Garrity, Sacramento State (6.1)
Posted on: November 11, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 3:29 pm
 

UNT's Tony Mitchell eager to get back on hardwood

By Jeff Borzello

North Texas kicks off its season against St. Gregory’s tonight, but the Mean Green’s season won’t really start until December 18.

That’s when freshman Tony Mitchell becomes eligible.

“Everybody’s talking about it,” Mitchell said by phone.

“We’re excited about that date,” head coach Johnny Jones added. “It will be an exciting time for us.”

While not playing at one of the BCS-conference schools, Mitchell will be one of the biggest impact freshmen in the country. He originally signed with Missouri out of high school, but the five-star prospect was ruled a partial qualifier due to questions about his transcript and test scores.

Since the Big 12 does not allow partial qualifiers, Mitchell decided he would rather go to another four-year college and sit out as opposed to junior college. North Texas was on Mitchell’s final list before he chose the Tigers – and the Mean Green allow partial qualifiers.

Jones had pursued Mitchell throughout his recruitment, and even welcomed him on campus for an official visit before he chose Missouri. For the Dallas native, it was an easy option.

“It’s basically like Missouri, with the family atmosphere,” Mitchell said. “It was a no brainer.”

Mitchell hasn’t been allowed to practice with the team since arriving at North Texas, but he’s been working out with his trainer to refine his game and expand his skill set. Moreover, he made the U-19 USA team that played in Latvia this summer.

The 6-foot-9 Mitchell led the team in rebounding (7.6) and blocks (1.8) per game, also contributing 5.0 points a contest.

“It was a very exciting, fun experience,” he said. “I just wanted to make my presence felt, make sure everyone hasn’t forgotten about me. I just played, did what I did best.”

Mitchell said it’s been difficult not to be able to play with his future Mean Green teammates, but the time away from the court has allowed him to focus on things outside of basketball. He has concentrated more on academics – the reason he is at North Texas in the first place – and he has matured on and off the hardwood.

Because he has no teammates to rely on yet, Mitchell has needed to become more independent in terms of his work ethic and schoolwork.

“He’s had to sit there and do some things academically on his own,” Jones said. “Because of his set back, it’s helped him in a sense. He had to apply himself in a different way. He’s really grown.”

“I’m basically being a college student,” Mitchell added.

North Texas went 22-11 last season, losing on a last-second shot to Arkansas-Little Rock in the Sun Belt title game. Moreover, the Mean Green lose the majority of last year’s team, including their top four scorers.

There is certainly room for Mitchell to step in and contribute immediately – and Jones needs him to be a star right off the bat. Despite not working out with the team or playing organized basketball for the better part of 18 months, Mitchell will need to shake the rust off quickly.

“Tony can play in any conference, and that’s how I gauge kids,” Jones said. “He has the ability to come in and make people around him better.”

CBSSports.com ranked Mitchell No. 16 among the freshmen entering college, because he should be able to come in and dominate the Sun Belt immediately. His talent along puts him on a different level than most players at the mid-major level.

Throw in the hunger and motivation of sitting out last season, and Mitchell is ready to get back on the court.

“I’m ready to make a huge impact,” he said. “But you still have to prove yourself. I have to live up to the expectations.”

North Texas is confident he will be worth the wait.

Photos: USA Basketball 

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