• What is not to like?

    He is 6-8 and 210 and in his first season of trying not to be eaten alive, when he was projected probably not to be a major contributor till year 3 or 4.

    He is giving the team what Traylor gave the team his first year or two: exploding for blocks and guarding. Most block are stops. Stops are good. For any block there are two alters, maybe more.

    Saying the team needs something it does not have is not to denigrate what it does have. The team will still need Mitch if it adds Preston and De Sousa.

    Rock Chalk!

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  • @wrwlumpy

    Thx 4 posting these pics.

    They make a few things clear.

    1. Subbing for Doke, or playing beside Doke, makes him look smaller than he is.

    2. He can get up!

    3. His upper arms appear a lot stronger up close than they do on TV.

    4. He has a pixie face but a man’s body that will likely top out around 220 one day.

    5. He is a 4 forced into playing 5.

  • I think Mitch will end up being a better player at KU than Traylor. I think he’s already a better overall player than Traylor ever was. Traylor was an incredibly athlete, but had a very low skill ceiling. And basketball is first and foremost a game of skill. When you see Mitch shoot, he’s already light years ahead of Traylor. Traylor, after his time here, still couldn’t score in the post and had a well below average outside shot.

    Similarly, both he and Traylor get/got almost all of their blocks off of the ball, coming in as a second defender. Not classic rim protection in the Withey mode.

    Mitch’s ability to block shots is real. He averages 4.6 per 40 minutes played (4.3 last season). Traylor was 2.4 for his career and we all thought he was pretty good swooping in and giving us some blocks.

    Mitch just requires patience. Skills appear to be there, ready to develop. But his playing time at KU will always be at risk, year to year, depending on the next “big thing” we recruit.

    **When I suggest “classic rim protection”, I mean face up to the ball, back to the basket. This type of rim protection usually results in a change of possession. The secondary blocks (the kind Mitch and Traylor did best) usually get swatted out of bounds. But the secondary blocks are essential and important part of team defense.

  • I’m on board with many… that Mitch is currently being used out of his position, the 5. And he is, at most, a stretch 4.

    But, is he really a 3? He can hit some shots from the perimeter. He seems to lack handles though, unable to drive the ball and just give us another ball handler on the court. I’m not sure what his position was in high school. He lacks size for the 4 or 5 spot in D1.

    It seems like he should be spending much of his time working on his handles, jump shot, and moves with and without the ball to create space, including pivots and all kinds of fakes.

    I think Mitch needs to think heavily about his life after Kansas basketball. If he wants to continue to play ball, then he needs to realistically assess his potential and where he can apply it. That should direct him to where he should spend his personal development energy.

  • @HighEliteMajor agree with everything you said except that it seems like a disproportionate number of Mitch’s blocks ignite fast breaks. It seems he has good control of keeping the ball in play and deflecting it to teammates.

  • @approxinfinity I’ll keep more of an eye out for that. I know I have a few games (too many) on the DVR. When I can (when the old guy wakes up at 4:30 in the morning), I’ll make a point of looking at some of the blocks. For those that DVR and like to look at particular items, the ESPN play by play is an easy way to find what you’re looking for.

  • @HighEliteMajor I think his PT is at severe risk next year but like Lucas he is the kind of player that you love to have around.

    @drgnslayr I don’t think he is a 3. Certainly not under Self and not at KU in general if the team is at the level we hope. And like you mention, he lacks the handle for it. He also lacks the defensive speed. I think he is totally fine as a stretch/small ball 4. There aren’t a lot of teams that have two behemoths inside anymore.

    I don’t think the staff should be trying to turn him into a guard at all like you suggest. However I also think his future career will not be pro hoops.

  • @BShark Real nice kid. If he is still getting 15 minutes per game in March, we’re in real trouble.

  • wrwlumpy said:


    Um, is he allowed to wear Nike on KU property?

  • One thing to remember about comparing Mitch and Traylor is that Traylor was much more explosive his first two years, and with leg injuries less so his third season and his last season his pop was almost completely gone after the first third of the season. My hunch is his blocks per minute went down over time. If Mitch were to stay healthy, he would likely make a much, much bigger contribution his last two seasons, that Jamari, given the strengthening up that Mitch seems to be in the process of. Traylor was a stud from the start and skill acquisition is much tougher. Strength and weight gain come if you work hard. Tyrel Reed and Svi are the best proto types to use to project a model of what will happen to Mitch, assuming no major injury in year 3. In year 3 he will just be starting to play all facets of the game adequately; then year 4 he will take on a crucial role in the team. Reed was bitchin’ shooting his 3rd year, but he really became a man year 4–so good he was better on an operable bone spur that knocked from 46% to 37% or from trey, than any body else healthy and early in their development cycles. The same has been true with Svi. He shot over 40% las season, but he’s a man now, even though his shooting is suffering from having to play 4. Neither Vick nor Newman could even do what Svi is doing this season—playing the 4–without their offense disappearing. Neither would be ready emotionally or physically for the increased beating at the 4. Svi is barely holding it together right now. If Svi were cruising at the 2 or 3, right now, he would be shooting 42% from trey, maybe 45%. But he is thinking way to much about banging with the big dogs to focus fully on his trifecta. But I digress.

    Mitch is not showing much of even his raw capabilities, because he is thinking through the 5. It’s frankly amazing he can do it at all.

    He’ll be a good sub at 4 next season but he won’t be a man till the year after that.

    He just has to keep working and hope he stays healthy till year 4.

  • @BShark

    I’m thinking of Mitch’s future, not just what he can do for Kansas. Even at Kansas… his window closes almost completely as we get more post depth if his only role becomes as a “stretch 4.”

    And his future will be tough trying to only be a stretch 4, too. I’m not thinking NBA, and I doubt Mitch is either. But… there are all kinds of pro ball opportunities out there, from Europe to Asia to South America.

    There really isn’t a reason why he shouldn’t work on his handles. It’s kind of like players that can’t shoot FTs above 60%. Even if we use Mitch only as a stretch 4… there will be times he will receive the ball in a time and place where he can do some good if he can dribble well enough.

    Mitch is a good athlete. His size should be used to his benefit, not his downfall (like it is now, but we really had to use him this way). His size starts working to his benefit at the 3. I’m pretty sure if he wants to maximize his future earnings, he will want to target becoming a 3. Heck… just working on his trey shot and becoming respectable will land him a career overseas.

  • @drgnslayr

    Major copy and paste

  • Banned

    And still it continues. LOL Great men arn’t born. Great men aren’t created. Great men rise up because life calls for them to do so. You folks keep talking about how Old Mith the hammer shouldn’t play till his senior season. You folks keeps talking about how Mitch needs to work on this and that.

    Yet what you fail to realize is that KU should have more losses than two if Mitch wasn’t apart of team. What you fail to realize is KU basketball would be in big trouble if it wasn’t for old Mitch Thunder.

    Sure Mitch lacks in this and that. Yet boys and girls he’s playing. He’s playing whether he’s ready or not. Also He’s delivering even though he isn’t the tallest player, the most athletic player, or evening the most skillful player. When his number is called he plays. He plays with heart and passion.

    I get it! He shouldn’t be playing. Yet is that his fault? Who does the recruiting around KU? Who builds the roster year after after year?

    Bottom line if you believe in coach, then you should believe in Mitch. After all Coach recruited him.

  • Banned

    As a KU fan. I would rather have 10 Mitches than 10 OAD’s. Just me.

  • @DoubleDD

    I’d settle for 5 mitch’s And 5 OADs.😃

  • Banned


    Lmao. My old buddy jaybate. Yea that would be cool too.

  • jaybate 1.0 said:


    I’d settle for 5 mitch’s And 5 OADs.😃

    lol, ahh their you go , a voice of reason lol. – ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • DoubleDD said:


    Lmao. My old buddy jaybate. Yea that would be cool too.

    One vote for jaybate - - & two atta boys’s lol - – ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • Looks to me as though Big Mitch has developed and attracted a mighty solid following among the buckets fan base. To date, he has persevered through much fan criticism; but now is earning his true due. These photos posted by wrlumpy are fantastic portrayals of the Mitch Lightfoot we are coming to know and respect. Mitch represents topflight Division 1 Basketball at its very best. Josh Jackson and Wiggins were a season of joy to host in this storied program. But guys like Mitch and Frank and Devonte and Tyrel, the 4 year developers and keepers, are like family. I know this sounds like a stretch, listing Mitch, at this stage, alongside those stat blazers; but I believe he is an essential representative to the health and future wellbeing of collegiate sport. That is why I hope that he can pull down a red shirt, perhaps next season. So that he can continue to grow and develop, returning to game action with a body and polished skills more conducive to personal and team success. Like Travis and Conner and Brady, his 5-year predecessors.

  • Listen to the coach.

  • Bump

  • Dang, saw the avatar and thought Jaybate was back.

  • @wissox Gullible’s Travels!

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