His name is Mitch.

  • Well Mitch stood up last night didn’t he? Without Mitch we would not of won that game last night. - - Mitch had 9 points - - - 7 rebounds - - Drew a Charge - - - Made a 3 - -& 6 blocks. - I would call that quite the night for a kid of his stature. On top of that, most of this was during a very critical stretch of the game.

    Now does this mean Mitch is some stud or is her going to repeat tonight’s performance the next time he steps on the floor? - - Possibly not - -probably not. - - Does this mean Mitch should get more minutes? - -No , not necessarily , not at all. What this does say is , and Coach said this days before this game and I think this just says what Coach said - -what this does do is, that even when Billy & Silvio get cleared - -IF they ever do , what this shows is that even when these guys are cleared that quite likely Mitch’s minutes are not going to just magically dwindle - -Mitch will still get minute , and deservedly so.

    Mitch is not some super stud elite athlete , what Mitch is though is one of those type of guys like we hear about that brings his lunch pail with him to the floor every night. - He may not and is not pretty most the time when he is on the floor a lot of times now will he muddle it up our next time out - - get beat on defense - -make silly turnovers at times? - - possibly - -probably. Thing is how is that different from ANY other player on this team? - - Every single one has looked ugly at times - -really ugly. - - - Does this change anything on Mitch’s future like for next year, we don’t know , cause I’m sure that won’t be discussed to next year or off season - -I’m referring to him possibly red shirting. - -Would it still be more beneficial for Mitch to red shirt next season? - - Hell ya, because lie people have stated we are going to be much deeper and NEXT year his minutes quite likely will be less - -give him next year with Hudy get some girth/bulk , he will be a very decent role player with plenty of moments for us just like tonight on the floor.

    The big thing I’m driving at is there are SOME that think Mitch shouldn’t be at Ku isn’t good enough - that he should be at a mid major - umm no he shouldn’t Mitch is right where he should be. Again Coach offered him for a reason Coach seen things and evaluated things that there is no way we know what he see’s in Mitch. - All I know is what coach said and that is he isn’t sure that if and when Billy and De Sousa get cleared that doesn’t mean Mitch’s minutes going to be cut. - -Mitch is a overall’s and work shirt type of player - -not a suit and tie type of player. - - -The one thing that surprises me though When I look at Mitch and ya just curious to what you think - -when I look at Mitch I would of NEVER thought that Mitch would be a shot blocker like he is - -does he you?

    Summary? - -I’m just trying to say that Mitch is not as bad as some want to make him out to be , like insinuating he shouldn’t see the floor - - I’m not saying he should get increased playing time , BUT when we get Billy & De Sousa - -Mitch still gonna get minutes. - -He will be that guy that gives breaks in case of foul trouble to Billy - - Silvio - - Doke or just to give them a break for a few minutes that’s all. - -Now you can twist this around in any shape or form you want - color it however you want , but the bottom line is if it weren’t for mitch last night our butts would of been toast, it was him that came up HUGE in a very critical time of the game - coach was talking him up glowing about him in his post game pretty simple. - -Good game and hoping to see more. – ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • Earlier this year I commented that Mitch would be asked at some point, probably more than once, to carry the load. This was one of those nights and he stepped up and did the job. I never doubted his heart, and I always thought he had the basketball IQ I just worried about his size/strength and skill set. At this point in the season it’s just his size/strength that I see as his limiting factor on games where he settles in and doesn’t get sped up and in his own way. I think his IQ lets him overcome his size to some degree and his timing on blocks reminds me of Withey. He still tends to try to block every shot in the building and at times gets out of position in the process but overall he is getting pretty good at being in the right place at the right time. He impressed me last night and I hope he sticks through to his senior year and has a go at Jeff’s block record.

  • Whoa there @Kubie. Withey had 311 career block, and Mitch has 39. Now Mitch has more through 1.5 years than JW did but don’t see Mitch ever getting the kind of pt Jeff got career wise. But who knows ML keeps surprising.

  • @Fightsongwriter I didn’t say he’d do it! and i was thinking single year anyways.

  • @Kubie 146. That’s a lot of swats.

  • @Kubie And don’t forget that smooth stroke on that 3 from the top… that got me out of my seat!

  • If Mitch is a “stretch 4”, and with (potentially) 3 big men, it seems he would take minutes from Vick. On those nights where Vick disappears (ala TCU), the offense & defense could morph into something totally different, giving KU a huge front line. Do you think Mitch has the foot speed for short periods at the 3-spot?

  • Gorilla72 said:

    Do you think Mitch has the foot speed for short periods at the 3-spot?

    No. But he will be totally fine at the 4.

    @Kubie I don’t think we have to worry about Mitch toughing it out or not. He is all KU, and that’s why we love him.

  • @Kubie … Withey’s block rate through his first 1.5 seasons was .120 per minute played, 25 blocks/207 minutes. Embiid was .111 in his one season, 72/647.

    Mitch’s just a touch higher than Withey and a good bit higher than Embiid, at .121, 39/120.

    Blocking without fouling is a significant skill, and some are more naturally inclined. This is impressive.

    Obviously his rate will decrease at the 4 but it’s something major in his toolbox.

  • @HighEliteMajor Good post, HEM. I had begun to think that you were more than somewhat down on Mitch. I am more inclined to judge by the warmth of feeling rather than statistical fact; and I have felt very positive toward the role of Mitch on this current squad. It is very reassuring to read that he is providing strong statistical positives. If his play stays on such a steady bell curve upswing he might never get a chance for the breather of a red shirt. His value looks to be immeasurable. Now opposing coaches will have to reckon with his specific contributions. That might free Udoka from such focus as was evident by Jamie Dixon’s game plan. Dixon appeared to have employed a super game plan, but his squad failed to execute it for a win. And Mitch threw a giant wrench into TCU planning. As did Devonte’s determination and grit. That kid really absorbed a beating, but could not be deterred. Frank Mason must be smiling.

  • Remember Perry Ellis? He was having all kinds of problems and missing close shots and rebounds? Then, at the Big 12 Tournament everything came together and never looked back.

    As you all know I have been a Mitch fan from the beginning and I am hoping that yesterday was his coming out party and he will continue to contribute like he did yesterday.

  • Perry is much more skilled than Mitch. Not really a dig at Mitch as Perry was a very skilled player in general.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I thought of Perry too. His soft hands and missed bunnies used to drive me crazy early on his KU career. But he worked hard and got better and more consistent. Then later in his career I’d look at the stats at the end of the game and go, “Huh, Perry quietly got his 20 points again, and a bunch of rebounds and defended well”. He became so important to us having success, but was so quiet about it.

    Not saying that his and Mitch’s skillsets or talents or even demeanors are similar, but that 4 year, willingness to be coached and work to do what was needed by the team - these are the kind of guys that make KU such a great team to follow each season. OADs are nice, but they’re just the spice not the soup, the feather and not the cap of KU teams.

  • @StLJhawk

    Perry had excellent fundamentals but his compass needed tweaking, once he got it going he was gold.

  • Perry became a great cerebral defender his senior season. He knew the opposing coaches and sets so well he would get to a spot before the offensive player. It was really disruptive and wasn’t something that showed up in the box score.

  • Sorry, Clay. That clamor you heard from certain quarters has been drowned out by the noise from the newly arriving Mitch Bandwagon.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I’m right there with you. I hope Mitch has some very solid years with us. I know this the kid flat out bust his ass & tries. Sure maybe the results aren’t always the best but the kid sure tries and gives what he does have all the time - you can’t fault his effort , that’s for sure. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • mayjay said:

    Sorry, Clay. That clamor you heard from certain quarters has been drowned out by the noise from the newly arriving Mitch Bandwagon.

    I’m not a new Mitch bandwagon arrival, Hell I think I’m one of the original boards to the wagon - -got a few splinters lol. Guess I always kind of like the under dog - -the lesser known - -pull for the kid that gets kicked around and gets the catch all the one to blame it seems - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @HighEliteMajor I actually don’t think it would go much at the 4. Self is a coach that likes to switch everything on defense and a lot of teams love using a stretch 4 to try and free up a post player inside. If Mitch switches to the post, he’ll still have a lot of chances at blocks.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I don’t expect it. TRob’s block rate was .037, Marcus .018, Traylor .059, for example. However, I think Mitch is a more skilled blocker than all three. Hope you’re right.

    @REHawk My only issue raised with Mitch is that he is not yet a good player relative to CBB, and would just not be playing if Self’s intended plan were to have come to pass. He had Whitman and Preston lined up. Even Coleby. I made a pretty strong case that we need four year guys like Mitch, and felt his greatest value would be in his JR and SR seasons, preferably after a redshirt.

    You can’t replicate game experience for development.

    We have to be measured, though. Mitch’s prior two games (TX & TT) were pretty bad. He really did nothing and couldn’t find a rebound. If he can have games like this one out of every three, he is well worth playing — but we have little choice either way. It was fun watching him last night.

    But this game changes nothing regarding Mitch, his role, or reasonable expectations. Or that we’d be better playjng better players than Mitch right now, just like Self intended.

    The Mitch cheering section was oddly silent after the TX and TT games. Truthfully, he’s a developing player that we should all just be patient with. I think we’ll all be very happy with the product.

  • Yep. Mitch needs to understand that he is the answer right NOW for this team inside. He’s got to play at this level every game, and maintain.

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