Get to bed early tonight. Tomorrow is game day. Go Frogs!
In last week’s NBA draft, a player by the name of Tony Mitchell went off the board at pick 37 to the Detroit Pistons. Almost 25 picks later than where he was predicted to go if he decided to forgo his sophomore season at UNT and enter the 2012 NBA draft.
Within one year, Mitchell went from being a lottery pick talent with elite athleticism to a second round, multiyear project on a team with recent losing tradition.
At least a losing situation is something he got used to with his final year at the University of North Texas.
Because Mitchell is considered a prospect, Detroit could have been the worst team he could have landed.
While the Pistons have talented young players like Brandon Knight, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, they were each first round picks and considered as NBA ready players. Mitchell needs maturing and lots of coaching from both players and the Detroit staff.
In his eight years of coaching, Maurice Cheeks has run three playoff teams but in the regular season is 284-286. A percentage of .498 is the ultimate definition of an average record of accomplishment.
Cheeks is not the coach to mold a young player who is I need of a proven coach that can bring a long a player and implement him into a system that will best fit him.
Mitchell may not be the prize of the draft for the Piston’s organization so it wouldn’t surprise me that he doesn’t get too much playing time or attention which is really a shame. Mitchell has a limitless ceiling, but he just needs some scaffolding to reach the top. He can’t do it on his own. Mitchell already proved that with his final season at UNT.
Before the draft, ESPN had Mitchell going 42nd to the San Antonio Spurs. The perfect team and situation for both Mitchell and SA because they have the best coach in the league and one of the greatest big men of all time to help Mitchell’s process of becoming the NBA player that he has the ability to be.
Instead, he’s on a team with striking similarities to the 2012-2013 Mean Green. A team led by one and two year players and in the middle of a coaching change. It ended as a disappointing campaign for Mitchell when he was a star and now, as a NBA prospect, he may never get his professional career moving in the right direction.
Two of the top players on the Detroit roster take the roles of the big men. The Pistons offense revolves around the play of their guards Knight and Rodney Stuckey. With the talent in front of him in the rotation and a system that revolves around the perimeter players, playing time at first will be a valuable commodity for the athletic big man.
I get the feeling Mitchell’s above the rim style will win him some playing time with the coaches and brownie points with fans. He brings a certain type of energy to the Palace that hasn’t been there for years. Even if it is eight minutes per game, he can add a spark by getting the bench and fans out of their seats with his version of a two pointer.
The best bet for Mitchell would be to find himself in a trade to a playoff caliber team within his first couple of seasons. I do not feel he will find what he is looking for in the Motor City.
Then throw in reports that the Pistons are meeting with Atlanta forward Josh Smith it wouldn’t surprise me to see Mitchell in the D-League to start the season if Smith were to join Detroit.
After all of this I can confidently say the Detroit will improve on its 29-53 regardless of landing Smith but not because of Mitchell’s presence. Detroit will be better because its core will be stronger by adding another offseason together with each other.
I’ve met Tony Mitchell, I’ve talked to him and covered a vast majority of his collegiate career and wish him the best of luck when October 29 comes around. I plan to follow this young man’s career to the end but there’s just the sneaking suspicion that it may just not be long enough to have a follow up to this article.
(Photo Credit: James Coreas/North Texas Daily)
With the NBA draft closing in, a player worth mentioning is University of North Texas power forward Tony Mitchell.
Mitchell is worth mentioning because he is the lone player from a Texas college with a first round grade, could be a possible pick for the Dallas Mavericks if they were to trade the 13th pick and most important of all he is the definition of a high risk-high reward player.
I had the opportunity to cover Mitchell’s freshmen season in its entirety and spent time on and off the UNT men’s basketball beat during his sophomore season.
While watching Mitchell, I witnessed two different players in his time with the Mean Green.
The first year, Mitchell looked like a player that was determined to be recognized and make a name for himself. If he didn’t miss the first nine games of the season due to academic issues he would have been the unanimous Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and the SBC Player of the Year.
The season ended with a last second loss in the Sun Belt tournament finals and fuelled his decision to return for his second season.
During the offseason, the Mean Green underwent a coaching change has Johnny Jones headed to LSU to coach for his alma mater.
Afterwards, Mitchell could not live up to the expectations he set for himself after his first year as the coaching change highly effected Mitchell’s play and the team’s performance.
Mitchell showed that he is not as a sure thing NBA prospect that everyone makes him out to be.
When I look at Mitchell is see a raw prospect that has the athleticism to take the Sports Center highlight reel away from Blake Griffin. His talent right now is good enough to provide a spark in short time off the bench and would likely stay this way into his third, maybe fourth year as a pro before he gets a spot in a team’s starting lineup.
While I say that drafting Mitchell will be a work in progress and even a potential bust, I understand the serious appeal of this draftee.
A 6’8” forward with a 7’3” wingspan, a near 40-inch vertical and the ability to shoot from beyond the arch equals a future star. A simple formula for finding viable prospects but like baseball there is a “sabermetrics” side of this.
Mitchell saw a dip in his field goal percentage, percentage from three-point range, points per game and even his rebounding production took a hit during his sophomore season.
Not to mention, while watching his games he did not appear to be mentally involved especially during times of turmoil where the team was struggling to get going.
To me, this means that Mitchell will go the way the rest of his team goes, not exactly the way a player with his potential should respond when faced with adversity.
He showed that he’s not someone to put a team on his shoulders and as the team’s star was unable to help dig the team out of its hole.
Four years from now, I could be proven wrong and quite honestly wish I will be, but that is why Mitchell is a high risk-high reward player. His athleticism is beyond many of the players currently in the NBA but after a season where he and his team were shut down by the rest of the Sun Belt Conference I find it hard seeing success for Mitchell in the NBA.
This doesn’t mean SBC players don’t make a name for themselves in the professional world. Jeremy Evans and Courtney Lee are the most recent players to come out of the Sun Belt to impact the league.
Derrick Fisher is the biggest name to come out of the SBC, but since Fisher entered the NBA in 1996, nine players from that conference have made it to the pros with Raja Bell being the only other recognizable player in the league today.
Seeing Mitchell’s name next to those mentioned above would certainly be nice an achievement all on its own.
Mitchell will also be the first UNT basketball player to make it on a professional roster since Joe Hamilton who played in the ABA from 1970-1976 for several teams.
As far as the Mavericks and the possibility of taking Mitchell, I would prefer them not to. A forward is not what Dallas needs. Dallas needs someone who can hit the hardwood running and impact the team from the get go from the point. In addition, the only way Dallas could grab Mitchell is if they were to trade their 13th pick to a team looking to move up in the draft.
What Mark Cuban and the rest of the Mavericks front office plans to do on draft day is always unpredictable making my guess as good as anyone else’s.
Mitchell is a player with swingman athleticism, a post players size and the potential of Greg Oden before his plague of injuries.
He needs to fine tune his entire game outside of standing underneath the basket waiting for the ball and find a position where he can be the most effective.
Regardless, Mitchell is a very appealing prospect that could make even the most agile big men in the league look like Erick Dampier and if he falls as far as people predict then he will make a playoff caliber team very happy.
In the ESPN Experts Mock Draft, they have Mitchell going 28th overall to the San Antonio Spurs, a team that will suit him nicely and allow this young baller to mature under the watchful wings of one of the greatest big men of all time Tim Duncan.
Although Tony Mitchell is not a marquee player in this draft, he is certainly a name to remember regardless of his future becoming a success story or not.
It’s that time of year. Join the DSR bracket challenge and let’s see whose stay’s together the longest. Or at least outside the first round.
Feel free to share with anyone who wants to play!
I am proud to announce that I’ve been asked by the awesome guys over at Frogs O War, TCU’s SB Nation blog, to be a contributor, beginning next week.
However, that means some slight changes will be coming to DSR.
There will no longer be any TCU content on this site (The old posts will remain, but nothing new will be posted). We’ll continue to have the College Football Top 25, and stories from around the nation, and, as always, we’ll still be your go-to site for anything and everything Rangers, Mavs, Cowboys and Stars.
Thanks for all of your support in getting the site to this point! Your readership is the reason I’m getting other offers.
So, for all you TCU fanatics, head on over and start reading: http://www.frogsowar.com/
Thanks, and GO FROGS.
The Horned Frogs enter their third game of the season without one of their top offensive players.
As we discovered yesterday, junior running back Waymon James, TCU’s leading rusher last year (and this year), will be out for the rest of the season with an undisclosed left knee injury.
The fortunate thing is that the Frogs still have a more-than-capable back in Matthew Tucker. Behind him wait senior Aundre Dean and true freshman B.J. Catalon.
The even better news is that the Frogs’ next opponent, Virginia, isn’t exactly stout when it comes to defending the run.
The Cavaliers have allowed 610 rushing yards so far this season (461 last week to Georgia Tech). Now, I know Georgia Tech runs the triple option, but 461 yards? With the passing game keeping Virginia’s secondary honest, I fully expect TCU to gain at least 200 rushing yards in this game.
Not to mention, their secondary hasn’t been totally stellar either. They’ve allowed opposing teams to average 11.1 yards per completed passing play. That’s a good sign for Casey Pachall, who will undoubtedly shoulder a larger portion of the offensive load this week.
Both teams are looking to rebound from poor performances last week. TCU had four redzone turnovers against Kansas, en route to a sloppy 20-6 win.
Meanwhile, Virginia was absolutely annihilated by Georgia Tech last week, 56-20.
Unfortunately from them, they’re running into a Gary Patterson team after a bad week.
Prediction: TCU-38, Virginia-9.
Big Games Outside the ‘Plex
#22 Notre Dame vs. #13 Michigan
Prediction: Michigan-27, Notre Dame-24
#3 Oklahoma vs. #10 Kansas State
Prediction: Oklahoma-35, Kansas State-20
#8 Florida State vs. #7 Clemson
Prediction: FSU-49, Clemson-38
#17 Arizona vs. #4 Oregon
Prediction: Oregon-28, Arizona-17
(Photo Credit: Charlie Reidel/Associated Press)
Welp. The season just got a lot longer for the Frogs.
Earlier today we learned that TCU’s leading rusher, Waymon James, had injured his left knee (the specifics haven’t been disclosed, but the popular rumor is a torn ACL) during the Kansas game and will be out for the rest of the season.
It’s a huge blow to a team that has already lost a lot this year.
In fact, here’s a list of every player that TCU has lost between last season to now (Big thanks to the KillerFrogs.com guys that put this list together):
Waymon James – Starting RB
Travoskey Garrett – Probable starting CB
Stephen Bryant – Starting TE/FB
Ross Forrest – Starting DE
Danny Heiss – Backup LB
Blake Roberts – Backup DE
Ethan Grant – Backup RB
Greg Burks – Backup LB
Tanner Brock – Starting LB
Devin Johnson – Starting safety
DJ Yendry – Starting DT
Ty Horn – Backup OT
Ed Wesley – Starting RB
James Dunbar – Starting OT
Deryck Gildon – Brock’s replacement, starting LB
Travaris Battle – Potential starting CB
Carter Wall – Backup OL
Nykerion Wellington – Backup OT
James Bailey – Backup safety
Justin Isadore – LBer
Dwight Smith – RB
Austin Aune – QB
That’s 22 kids. Any other team that lost 22 kids would be written off completely, but to this point the Frogs are 2-0, and are looking to be 4-0 heading into their second Big 12 conference game.
The majority of the carries will now fall to Matthew Tucker, who was already splitting time with James. Tucker has 100 yards rushing and a touchdown on the season.
Behind him are senior Aundre Dean and true freshman B.J. Catalon. Dean is a more hard nosed runner, while Catalon is a more finesse runner, like James was.
I think they’ll both see an equal amount of time in the backfield, until one or the other begins to distance themselves.
This definitely changes how Virginia will game plan for the Frogs this weekend (look for a full preview later in the week), but TCU is still dangerous.
They’re still deep at RB, they’ve still got their full suite of high-powered receivers and a potential All-American quarterback in Casey Pachall to lean on.
Oh, and the defense still hasn’t allowed a touchdown this year.
So, while things aren’t as bright, they’re still looking up in Funkytown.
Another week of college football, another group of upsets. This is getting ridiculous.
- #20 Wisconsin
- #18 Tennessee
- #17 BYU
- #9 Virginia Tech
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- Mississippi State
- Oklahoma State
The Horned Frogs got off to a great start last week, upending Grambling State with ease, 56-0. This week, they play their first game against a Big 12 opponent as a member of the Big 12.
Technically, Kansas is in the Big 12, but I can’t imagine this game being a very tough match for the Frogs.
After all, Kansas has only won six Big 12 games since the 2008 season.
The Jayhawks did get quite the makeover this season though, albeit not a great one. Former Notre Dame Head Coach, and NFL defensive coordinator Charlie Weis took over the struggling program, and he brought with him Fighting Irish transfer Dayne Crist.
Crist has struggled so far this year, and was a key reason Kansas lost to Rice last week. He threw two interceptions, the second with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Rice’s ensuing drive led to the game-winning 45-yard field goal.
Kansas’ defense has allowed opposing offenses (South Dakota State and Rice, mind you) to total 814 yards of offense, 443 passing and 371 rushing, and score 42 points.
That doesn’t bode well for them, with the potent, dual-threat offense the Horned Frogs are bringing to Lawrence this weekend.
It should be an easy win for the Frogs, as they advance to 2-0 on the season.
More weekend picks:
#18 Tennessee vs. #19 Florida
Pick: Tennessee-24, Florida-17
Georgia Tech vs. Virginia
Pick: Virginia-31, Georgia Tech-20
#21 Stanford vs. #2 USC
Pick: USC-37, Stanford-24
#15 Michigan State vs. Notre Dame
Pick: Michigan State-42, Notre Dame-20
Arkansas vs. #1 Alabama
Pick: Alabama-27, Arkansas-24
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy revealed this morning that Notre Dame will be joining the ACC in all sports w/ the exceptions of football and hockey in 2013.
Then, the ACC turned around and announced that its members had increased their exit fee to three times the annual operating budget, or $50 million.
That increase effectively puts an end to all the rumors about Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech looking to move to another conference, possibly the Big 12. (Unless, as a few buddies of mine pointed out, FSU and/or Clemson bail out almost immediately. The new buyout won’t start until 2013).
The big story however, is the Fighting Irish, who are ending a 17 year relationship with the Big East and tacking on yet another crippling blow to the conference.
Almost a year ago today, The Big East watched as Syracuse and Pitt announced they would be leaving for the ACC. Soon after, West Virginia and TCU would high-tail it to the Big 12.
The band aid additions of Boise State, San Diego State (really?), Navy, Temple, SMU and Memphis really didn’t do a lot to strengthen the conference, and now with Notre Dame leaving, they’re essentially Conference USA 2.0.
The move makes ACC the frontrunner for the best basketball conference in the country, and it improves their television market for football, even though the Irish football team won’t be members of the conference.
Notre Dame has agreed to play five ACC teams a year, something they weren’t even doing with the Big East, and the most likely situation is that those five ACC games will be national games on NBC.
All in all, this is a good move for Notre Dame, who will probably see an uptick in recruiting on the East coast and for the ACC it adds a national brand to the conference.
As for the Big East… sorry little buddy.