Mitch Article


    I really really want Mitch to succeed. Sounds like a great kid.

  • I read that, and a few of the “expert opinions” posted in comments. They don’t give Mitch much hope so I’m hoping he reads those comments and uses them as inspiration to kick ass.

    As far as I can tell all he needs is exactly what he’s getting, Hudized into a chunk of muscle. His instincts were pretty good overall even if he was lost on occasion and he appeared in the limited time we saw him to have a nose for rebounds. For the first big off the bench IMO I’m okay with a rebound orientated guy that will probably block a few shots and get better on defense as he gets more playing time.

  • Mitch is a classic developmental guy. We should expect results in 2018-19, or that he plateaus and transfers – on his own accord, of course. Patience is easy on a guy like this. But if he’s not there by his junior season, it’s a wasted scholarship and time to cut losses. I think he’ll get there.

  • At this level you need to be either highly athletic or highly skilled. I dont see either here. I hope I end up wrong.

  • @HighEliteMajor Exactly, a development guy. Someone that hopefully can sub in 5 or so minutes per half to begin this coming year increasing that over time unless as you say he plateaus out and/or wanders off. I agree he is not the most athletic guy on the floor but i am not sold on him being that unskilled. He was just so light and comparatively weak that he was not able to show much. Do you remember Withey’s first year at KU? He had similar problems but I think he turned out ok 😉

    Guess all I am saying is I saw some things I liked in Mitch. He has some fire and desire and he appeared quick enough for his size and his hands were decent. Now if Hudy can add some power to his frame, and we know she can, we will see what he can learn to do with it. From what he said in this story Self is tailoring him to spend some time at the 4. I can’t say I would mind watching him in the circle feeding the Big Az in the post.

  • Mitch’s biggest shortcoming is a lack of physical strength. He’s just not strong enough to play the 4 in a power 5 conference. He needs about 20 pounds of muscle. In all truth, I would have liked to have seen him take a red shirt year last year to gain some of that strength. His skill set is solid enough to gain minutes, but he flat out cannot hold position right now at his size. That makes him appear much less skilled than he really is because he just isn’t strong enough to take advantage of his abilities because he can be bullied inside.

    I still think he’s a year away from really being able to help us. If he has a good summer, I may change that opinion, but his work is in the weight room and at the training table, not on the court right now.

  • @justanotherfan

    Reading the story link looks like this exactly what he has been doing. From the training he is doing, sounds like he is preparing to play more like Senior Ellis, leaning towards SF more so than PF.

  • @justanotherfan

    The article about him says he plans on only getting to the 225 area which is really only 10-12 pounds. I hope the staff encourages him to get to 230 and see if he’s still got his athleticism. Lightfoot might not be a kid who fills out too much. We’ll see, he definitely needs to have a big summer.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Good points.

    Add: Whether developmental bigs get there, or not, depends more on what Self recruits in the interim, than on how the developmental guys develop.

    If you play 4, the adidas conveyor tends to deliver some one good enough to turn developmental guys to sub 10 minute bench jockies, or “willing” transfers. Even if it’s a 2, or a 3, playing out of position at the 4.

    But if you play 5, and no Nike program implodes during your KU eligibility, throwing off legit 5s Self can pick up as sloppy seconds, then you’ve got a chance for the Landen Lucas Experience. Not if not.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    The true Center is disappearing in the the NBA. Only5 teams list a true starting center and most call themselves power forwards or just forwards and the stretch forward that can step outside and hit the 3 is the new trend. This trend is starting in college as well since the NBA is the ultimate destination for the better players and less players are going to call themselves centers.

  • @JayHawkFanToo and @BeddieKU23

    Mitch appears to play with high hips. Because of that, he’s always going to struggle with getting leverage because he doesn’t get as low as some guys. If he’s going to be able to maintain position even playing with high hips, it’s got to be from getting stronger. Carlton Bragg had/has the same problem. Some guys just can’t or don’t stay down as low, so they lose leverage and strength. The only way to compensate is to either get stronger or learn to play lower.

    Think back a ways to a guy like Alonzo Jamison or Richard Scott. Neither of those guys was among the biggest, but they played low, so it made them seem bigger. Charles Barkley at the NBA level did this. Ben Wallace is another good example. All of those guys were strong, but even when they were giving up size, because they had low hips, they could maintain leverage both offensively and defensively. TRob is a more recent KU example of a guy that played low, and as a result was a nightmare to handle in the post.

    Mitch has the ability, but he has to remedy the high hips, either by consciously getting lower, or by getting stronger to make up for not being as low.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    You have asserted this logic before.

    I respect your steadfastness.

    Briefly, I thought it might be a credible indicator of something.

    But…then a hole in your fritter emerged suggesting more of a doughnut 🍩 .

    How many good true 5s have played at any given time? Answer: not many.

    That number of 5 you suggest might be close to a long term average.

    To wit: how many play is largely a product of how many are available at any given time and, while that fluctuates some, the ones that are known about play without an exception I am recall.

    I don’t recall a single great true 5 ever to ride the bench, so a team could play small ball instead, do you? Maybe situationally, on a fouled up, off day, some Wilt, or Tim Duncan, or Nate Thurmond, or Olajuwan sat some, but mostly he was ridden as far as he could take a team.

    I kind of doubt Steve Kerr would turn down starting Olajuwan, in order to pick up more small bigs, so GS could stay small, do you?

    Thus there seems no structural change in the way the game is played; this much history makes me feel confident of.

    The trey line probably reduces how many marginal, project 5s are tried, and how many so-so 5s are built around, since Trey balling can sometimes out perform an untalented 5, but…

    Any time a solidly athletic and skilled 5, like, Tim Duncan, comes along, he is immediately drafted and played. And even those without many skills, but good athleticism, like Joel Embid, are drafted early and tried. And if healthy, they play.

    It has always been more or less this way, hasn’t it?

    There have never been nearly enough good 5s for all college teams, or for all pro teams, to play a down the middle game all the back.

    But that did not mean they were not prized. It meant they were for periods of time not in existence.

    The game is NOT turning away from great 5s at all. It’s just looking for new ways to play small, when you can’t get one; this it has always done, right? Good 4s have always been substituted as 5s, instead when a good 5 could not be had.

    In many regards, Bill Russell was a physically gifted 4 that played at the 5 to make room for other 4 that could not play the 5. So was Dave Cowens. There have never been enough legit 5s to fill out all teams in any league.

    Wooden started a 6-5 3 at 5 when he couldn’t even sign a good 4 to play 5 one season.

    During KU’s run of great centers most other schools played without a good footer, much less a great one like Clyde, Wilt, or good ones like B H Born. And many of those that had footers had projects. Thinking Nick Pino here.

    During Wilt’s NBA career often less than half the teams, some years probably less, could field a mildly comparable center. 6-9 Willis Reed and 7-0 Mel Counts both had the skill and physical attributes of today’s 4s.

    Even with Bill Russell, at 6-9, Red knew he had to keep running to win against the franchises that would eventually sign Wilt.

    Really, the number and frequency of good true 5s may not be diminishing at all. It may even be tending to increase, if anything, because of scouring the world for giants. Remember, there weren’t any footers at all until George Mikan, or the guy at OSU.

    PROBABLY, we’ve just hit another stretch like the great Boston Celtic years, especially pre Wilt, when team’s have found a new way to win without a true 5. Then it was a running game. Now it is a trey game. But I expect if Wilt, or Tim Duncan, etc. we’re available for Golden State to draft, at their time to draft, they would take him in a quantum qubit.

  • Regarding Mitch…

    He can play some.He has fundamentals down.

    KU grad and HOF Coach Ralph Miller always said he could take any 6-8 guy in a mall and teach him enough to make him at least a useful back up, if he couldn’t recruit enough experienced players.

    How much Mitch plays depends on what adidas can drag in and what complementary abilities they require.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    You missed my point. In the older days players like Cowens were considered and listed as center and played the classic back to the basket and near the basket and every single team had one center listed on the rotation. Now, most teams don’t list a center because the back to the basket players are very rare. Players like Kevin Love who not too long ago would have been considered centers now they are power forwards. The power forward, particularly the stretch power forward is considered t be more versatile and thus more desirable and more marketable position and players that would have expected to play “center” now they play power forward. By the way, Tim Duncan was listed as and he consider himself a power forward and not a center…

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    You apparently misunderstood me.

    It doesn’t matter what they call the position then or now. It only matters how they play the positions and how big and athletic and skilled they are.

    Cowens and Russell ran the floor and cowens especially moved outside on offense to shoot high post Js, when confronted with true 5s that we’re athletic. Russell lacked a long J and was a great jumper, so he tried to work inside with footwork and pass out against the big centers. This is what the short centers aka 4s playing 5 do today when they confront true 5s.

    The percentage of true 5s in the 60s and 70s was quite small. It’s quite small now.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    What is it a link to?

  • @JayHawkFanToo so the premise of the article is that kids don’t want to learn to be centers, and (I guess?) they’re suggesting that tall athletic kids don’t want to play center? But they also say that big guys have foot problems. And that big guys today could be as dominant as before. This article was written when LeBron was still on Miami so maybe the GS and Houston model changes that assumption Dunno. There aren’t that many rediculously tall athletic big people to begin with. It does seem a foregone conclusion that if you have a super freak center you find him minutes. And such people are a rare breed now, as they always have been…

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