Mickey Mitchell is going to be a lot of fun to watch develop

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I’ll admit it: I have an unhealthy obsession with the youtube mixtapes.

So when I get bored (or when I’m struggling for things to write about) I like to browse through some of those mixtapes. Just because.

I was doing just that on Tuesday afternoon when I stumbled upon one from BallisLife entitled “6’7″ Mickey Mitchell Has a SICK GAME! Best Player In Class of 2015!?” I recognized the name because one of the most respected college basketball writers in the country got incredibly excited about him the first time he saw him play.

So I watched the video.

And wow:

Someone that size with that athleticism and that handle and vision that’s a sophomore in high school? Yeah, he’s a name that you’ll be hearing quite a bit over the next three years. And while mixtapes are an awful way to scout a player, I think I can safely say that Mitchell is going to eventually be one of the more entertaining players to watch.

But there’s more to Mitchell’s story than just being a basketball player. He’s also a high school quarterback in Texas, and of the 22 scholarship offers he had as of the writing of this story back in August, half were offering a spot on both the football and basketball teams.

And he’s probably not even the best football player in the family:

“The other day I was walking through the house and [Prestonwood Christian Academy senior linebacker Mike] was Skyping with (Ohio State football head coach) Urban Meyer,” Mr. Mitchell said.

That is what happens when you have nine children, all of whom have names that start with M, that have combined for nine varsity state championships, 51 youth, state or national AAU titles and 1,200 trophies.

One might think the kids are striving to live up to the accomplishments of their father, a former Atlanta Falcons linebacker. Instead, they are trying to outdo him.

“Not that long ago the boys were being interviewed and they said they were trying to make up for the fact that I wasn’t any good in the NFL,” Mr. Mitchell said with a chuckle. “I think they are right.”

Leading the Mitchell’s current athletic charge are Mike and Mickey.

The former is a 6-foot-4, 216-pound four-star linebacker that is ranked as one of the top 50 recruits in the Class of 2013 by Rivals.com and the latter is a 6-foot-8, 205-pound sophomore guard at Prestonwood that is a consensus top five recruit for the Class of 2015.

I bet Mickey’s pretty popular at his high school.

(Photo credit: Texas Titans)

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Brooks’ big game leads No. 15 Oregon over Fresno State 78-73

Dillon Brooks, Torren Jones
AP Photo/Chris Pietsch
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Dillon Brooks had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 15 Oregon staved off a late rally by Fresno State for a 78-73 victory Monday night.

Chris Boucher and Elgin Cook added 14 points each for the Ducks (6-0), who led 70-52 with 6:35 to play before Marvelle Harris scored 13 points in a 16-2 run by the Bulldogs (5-1) that cut the deficit to four.

A driving layup by Brooks put Oregon up 74-68 with 1:20 left, and the Ducks held on by making four of six free throws in the final 45 seconds.

Harris, who didn’t score until the 12:04 mark of the second half, led Fresno State with 18 points, while Paul Watson added 11 and Torren Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 41-32 behind Jones and Karachi Edo, who had nine rebounds and 10 points.

Freshman Tyler Dorsey, Oregon’s leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, finished with 12.

The Ducks scored the game’s first 11 points, went up by as many as 14 and took a 37-25 halftime lead. The Ducks did most of the damage from inside the 3-point arc (9 of 10) and at the free throw line, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-5.

Fresno State, meanwhile, missed its first six shots from the field, shot 29.0 percent (9 of 31) and saw its top two scorers, Harris and Cezar Guerrero, held scoreless for the first 20 minutes.

The senior guards came in averaging 20.2 and 13.2 points per game, respectively.


Fresno State: Harris, the preseason choice for Mountain West Conference player of the year, needed one point to crack the Bulldog’s all-time top 10 in scoring. After going scoreless in the first half, he finished with 18 to rank 10th with 1,425, one behind Tod Bernard in ninth place, in 107 career games. . The Bulldogs fell to 2-10 all-time against Oregon. They last time they beat the Ducks, who have won the last five meetings, was in 1995. . Fresno State hasn’t beaten a Top 25 team on the road since 2000.

Oregon: The double-double was the second of the season Brooks and fourth of his career. . The Ducks are 40-2 against nonconference opponents since moving into Matthew Knight Arena five years ago. . The 6-0 start is Oregon’s second in the last nine years. The Ducks started 13-0 two seasons ago.

No. 1 Kentucky survives without Tyler Ulis in lineup

Tyler Ulis
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Less than a week after giving No. 2 Maryland all they could handle, Illinois State went into Lexington and gave No. 1 Kentucky fits.

The Redbirds never really threatened UK in the second half, but they went into the break tied and were within single digits down the stretch, eventually losing 75-63.

Kentucky was flustered. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to just eight assists, they shot 2-for-12 from three and just 29-for-46 (63 percent) from the charity stripe. They simply did not handle Illinois State’s pressure all that well.

And there was a reason for that.

Tyler Ulis didn’t play.

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate just what a player brings to a team until that player is not in the lineup, and that was precisely the case with Ulis on Monday night. It was crystal clear what he provides Kentucky. Beyond leadership and the ability to break a press without throwing the ball to the other team, he’s a calming presence. He doesn’t get rattled when a defender is harassing him and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a situation like a mid-major threatening the No. 1 team in the country in their own gym.

He’s everything you look for in a pure point guard, and for as good as Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe have looked at times this season, it should be crystal clear who the most important player on this Kentucky team is.