Donovan Mitchell

Louisville's Donovan Mitchell (45) reaches in against North Carolina State's Anthony Barber (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Louisville’s Mitchell dealing with concussion

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Louisville has been without one of its expected contributors through the first few days of practice.

Donovan Mitchell, a sophomore guard, has missed four practices due to a concussion, though he is expected to return to the court next week, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal citing coach Rick Pitino’s appearance on a local radio program.

Pitino said that freshman V.J. King would start in Mitchell’s place were the season to start today.

As a freshman, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 7.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range.

The Cardinals, who potentially could open the season as a top-10 ranked team, are also dealing with an injury to forward Mangok Mathiang, who was expected to return to practice Nov. 1 from a foot injury, but it’s “too early to tell,” if that timetable will stand, Pitino said, per the Courier-Journal.


Wake Forest lands 2016 forward Donovan Mitchell

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Wake Forest added a front court piece to its 2016 recruiting efforts on Sunday as Rivals150 forward Donovan Mitchell committed to the Demon Deacons.

The 6-foot-8 Mitchell is a native of California and is regarded as the No. 148 overall prospect in the latest Rivals Class of 2016 national rankings. Playing with Team Superstar this spring and summer in the Under Armour Association, Mitchell averaged 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

A pick-and-pop forward who could eventually transition to the wing, Mitchell is an intriguing prospect and he came on strong this July during the live evaluation period. With a smooth jumper, Mitchell should be able to impact the game as a floor spacer for head coach Danny Manning, who can probably position Mitchell in a few different spots on the floor.

Mitchell joins three-star guards Brandon Childress and Richard Washington in Wake Forest’s 2016 class.

Graduate transfers guaranteed to start for Louisville

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After losing Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell to the NBA Draft, Wayne Blackshear to graduation and two more to transfer, Louisville was left with Quentin Snider as the team’s top returning scorer at 4.1 points per game.

However, Rick Pitino was able to bolster the 2015-16 lineup in the spring with the additions of two highly-sought after graduate transfers: Drexel swingman Damion Lee and Cleveland State guard Trey Lewis. Both joined the program in April, and on the heels of the Cardinals’ trip to Puerto Rico, the two graduate transfers have locked up starting spots for this upcoming season, according to Jonathan Lintner, of the Courier-Journal.

“In a fast style of play, he’s lethal because of how he scores,” Pitino told reporters during a press conference on Thursday. “He’s not selfish by any means, but he has the ability to put points on the board, and that’s something that’s so needed for this basketball team.

“Trey Lewis is also a young man that just gives incredible leadership — tough physically, gets in the lane, shoots it, does a lot of good things as well.”

Lee was the CAA’s leading scorer at 21.4 points per game, but his season was cut short after breaking his right hand in late February. He had missed most of the 2013-14 campaign with a torn ACL. The 6-foot-1 Lewis averaged 16.3 points per game, shooting 42 percent for three as a junior. Pitino lauded him for his maturity during Thursday’s press conference.

The two additions joined a heralded recruiting class that includes Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Ray Spalding and Ryan McMahon, who will redshirt this season.

The Cardinals foreign tour will begin on Tuesday and lasts through Aug. 16, with the team playing three doubleheaders in a six-day span.

Incoming freshmen Derrick Jones, Donovan Mitchell throw down high-level dunks (VIDEOS)

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Every year as part of our season preview coverage we list guys who we feel are the best dunkers in college basketball. The list for the 2015-16 season will include at least one freshman, if not more.

Two candidates are UNLV signee Derrick Jones, who may turn out to be the best dunker in all of college basketball, and Louisville signee Donovan Mitchell. Both threw down impressive windmill dunks that found their way to the internet on Saturday, and you can watch them below.

First there’s Mitchell, who windmilled a made jumper as opposed to doing one off of a bounce. Only windmill involving a catch that may be more impressive is the one former Green Bay point guard Keifer Sykes threw down at the Chris Paul camp last summer.

As for Jones, there was no lob used just a running start before he took off from the foul line and threw down a left-handed windmill dunk. Jones’ dunk was recorded by UNLV teammate Jordan Cornish.

Impressive dunks from two players who are bound to create some highlights next season.

Diallo claims another MVP at Jordan Brand Classic but Briscoe wins the crowd

2015 Jordan Brand Classic
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NEW YORK – The 14th annual Jordan Brand Classic marked the end of a hectic few weeks for the top talent across high school basketball, as the West team topped the East, 118-116.

In a night that combined an unwavering pace with an abundance of jaw-dropping athleticism, here were the top stories:

Cheick Diallo adds another MVP to his trophy case

The Jordan Brand Classic was the cherry on top of a monster month for Diallo. The 6-foot-9 power forward from Centereach, N.Y., was named MVP of the East squad, pouring in 26 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Diallo was able to once again put his full offensive arsenal on display, showing a great touch around the bucket, as well as the ability to get out in transition.

The latest piece of hardware will have a spot next to the McDonald’s MVP Diallo won earlier in the month, also accompanied by a win at the Nike Hoop Summit. Diallo was one of three remaining undeclared players in the Jordan game and is scheduled for an in-home visit with Chris Mullin and St. John’s on Saturday, who is competing with Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa State and Pittsburgh for the coveted big man’s signature.

Welcome to the Isaiah Briscoe Show

With about five minutes remaining in the game, Briscoe, a New York product who went to high school in New Jersey, banged a three that was like a shot of adrenaline to the Brooklyn crowd. From then on, each time the ball found its way into Briscoe’s hands – which it did basically every possession – the walls of the Barclays Center were hit with an ear-splitting roar.

“That’s New York basketball,” Briscoe said when asked about the atmosphere. “Everywhere you go, every gym you play in, that’s New York basketball. They want to see people go at it. They want to see people compete.”

Briscoe, who is headed to Kentucky next season, repeatedly put himself in isolation situations, as he and LSU commit Antonio Blakeney traded one-on-one punches on several consecutive possessions. After shaking Blakeney with a particularly silky spin move and touching it off the glass, fans were fully invested in the Briscoe pageantry. Ultimately the one-man wrecking crew fell short, but Briscoe finished with 22 points after a sub-par first half and won over the crowd with a gladiator-like effort.

“I’m no stranger to a big crowd,” Briscoe said. “I feed off all of that, as you can see.”

The exodus of Wildcats out of the Bluegrass and toward the bright lights of the NBA has left Kentucky rather thin on the perimeter. Briscoe will be counted on to provide an immediate impact and it will be interesting to see how he meshes alongside point guard Tyler Ulis. Either way, it should be a nice problem to have for John Calipari.

Allonzo Trier gets buckets, basically whenever he wants

Trier collected MVP honors for the West squad, dropping in 28 points on 8-10 shooting. The 6-foot-4 guard from Henderson, Nev., shoved himself behind the wheel for Kevin Boyle’s team in the second half, willing his way into the paint and either converting at the rim or earning a trip to the charity stripe. With his quickness and athleticism, Trier is a migraine-inducing offensive weapon that is near impossible to guard one-on-one.

Setting up camp in Tucson, Ariz., next season, Trier will need to help patch up the offensive holes left behind by a slew of departed Wildcats. With Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley gone, and Stanley Johnson potentially joining them, Trier could easily become the focal point of Sean Miller’s offense in his inaugural campaign.

Brewster Academy sweeps Regional MVPs

Quickly finding the mold of a traditional all-star game, the Jordan Brand Classic Regional game turned into a 40-minute track meet that was played almost exclusively above the rim. Brewster Academy teammates Donovan Mitchell and Jalen Adams took center stage, reeling in MVPs for their respective teams.

“A lot of people don’t know Brewster Academy, so we were just talking about going out and putting Brewster on the map in a bigger way,” Mitchell said. “We just said to ourselves that we were going to go out and impact the game in different ways.”

The Louisville-bound Mitchell put together enough footage for his own Jordan Brand dunk highlight reel plus bonus features. The 6-foot-2 guard led all scorers with 30 points and nearly brought the house down in the first half after capping off a spin move with a thundering dunk.

Adams, an electric point guard who is committed to Kevin Ollie and UConn, put on a show of his own, scoring 27 points for the winning squad.

Donovan Mitchell lobs ball off the wall, throws down windmill dunk

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Donovan Mitchell Shuts Down The Derby Classic Dunk Contest from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Donovan Mitchell should have no shortage of highlights in his career at Louisville. The four-star power guard, one of four commits in Rick Pitino’s Class of 2015 put on a show at the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Night of Future Stars.

Mitchell lobbed a ball off the wall and into a one-handed, windmill dunk. According to Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal, he received a perfect score for that dunk. The 6-foot-4 Mitchell will advance to the championship round of the dunk contest on Saturday night at Freedom Hall in Louisville.

Here’s another angle:

More good news for the Cardinal faithful: Ryan McMahon, the sharpshooting guard, had a great showing in the 3-point shootout.