Sports

5-star ’22 forward Mitchell commits to Longhorns

Five-star small forward Dillon Mitchell, one of the most explosive players in the country, announced his commitment to Texas on Monday.

Mitchell chose the Longhorns over Florida State and Tennessee. Chris Beard and Texas zeroed in on Mitchell after the July period, making him a priority on the wing, visiting him at Montverde Academy (Florida) and then welcoming him on campus in mid-October for an official visit.

“It was a very diverse campus, much like Montverde,” Mitchell said. “I really liked the living arrangements and I can see myself walking the campus and fitting in. The new facility, the Moody Center, is going to be incredible.

“On my visit they were always working with the players. Coach Beard and the staff love being in the gym. They do a lot with player development. The intensity of Chris Beard, his staff and managers was great.”

Mitchell’s relationship with Beard — and the impression Beard made on Mitchell’s visit — was instrumental in landing his commitment.

“Coach Beard reminds me of [Montverde] coach Kevin Boyle,” Mitchell said. “I love playing for Coach Boyle. Both have a desire to win that’s amazing. They’re both intense. They treat practice like games. I believe Texas and coach Beard will help me get to the next level, to become an NBA player someday. What most don’t know about Chris Beard is he’s all about fun off the court.”

A 6-foot-7 small forward from Florida, Mitchell is ranked No. 18 in the ESPN 100 for the 2022 class. He was one of just five five-star prospects still available in the class.

Mitchell averaged 12.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 13 games with the Each 1 Teach 1 Elite grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit, ranking second in the league in field goal percentage at 72.9%. He made 75.8% of his 2-point attempts.

One of the more versatile and explosive prospects in the class, Mitchell affects the game by finishing plays in the open floor with speed and a vertical leap measured at more than 40 inches. The long-framed lefty can play both on the perimeter and in the post. He has a smooth offensive game and is capable of scoring in the midrange or at the rim, and is active on the offensive glass. Mitchell has most of the tools and traits needed to be a first-round draft pick.

Defensively, he displays quickness and length to easily switch one-through-four and contain the ball, get over a screen or defend the low post. He is also an underrated shot-blocker on the perimeter and at the rim. As he spends more time in the gym, his jumper will become a more of a threat from both the midrange and deep.

Mitchell is the second commitment in the 2022 class for Beard and Texas, joining ESPN 100 point guard Arterio Morris, the No. 31-ranked prospect and No. 5-ranked point guard in the country.

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