Mitch Lightfoot

Kansas lands three-star 2016 forward Mitch Lightfoot

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Kansas is on the board in the Class of 2016 as three-star forward Mitch Lightfoot committed to the Jayhawks during a public announcement.

The 6-foot-8 Lightfoot is a native of Arizona and he’s regarded as a three-star prospect and the No. 117 overall prospect in the class. A high-motor forward who is bouncy and good around the basket, Lightfoot picked the Jayhawks over his other finalists of Arizona, St. John’s, Stanford and Utah. Lightfoot took official visits to all five programs on his list during the recruiting process.

Originally a native of Kansas City, Lightfoot was interested in the Jayhawks in-part because he’s been a fan since childhood.

As a junior at Gilbert High School, Lightfoot helped the team to a state championship in Arizona while averaging 17.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game.

Lightfoot is a bit undersized, but he showed some skill over the summer by being able to step out and knock down some perimeter jumpers. With his high motor and ability to hit the glass, Lightfoot will likely be counted on to be a role player during his time at Kansas.

Four-star power forward Mitch Lightfoot trims list to five

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After deciding to de-commit from New Mexico and reopen his recruitment in mid-April, four-star power forward Mitch Lightfoot has seen more than a few high-major programs express interest. Sunday night the Arizona native announced that he’s cut his list to five programs with one of his home state’s flagship schools making the cut.

Arizona, which became more involved in Lightfoot’s recruitment the second time around than they were pre-New Mexico commitment, is on the list as are Kansas, St. John’s, Stanford and Utah. Of those five programs Stanford may be in the best shape when it comes to their front court rotation in the future, with Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey (like Lightfoot, a native of Arizona) both being sophomores.

Arizona will lose at least three front court players after the 2015-16 season in Kaleb Tarczewski, Ryan Anderson and Mark Tollefsen. As for Kansas, Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor and Hunter Mickelson are all entering their final season of eligibility and freshmen Carlton Bragg and Cheick Diallo (who has yet to be cleared by the NCAA) are both highly-regarded prospects.

Utah (which will host Lightfoot for an official visit September 5) may not have a single senior in its post rotation, but the Runnin’ Utes do have a sophomore in Jakob Poeltl who nearly turned pro back in the spring. And St. John’s is in a position where it needs a serious infusion of talent, especially in the front court. The good news for the Red Storm is that they’re young in that area, as none of their big men are seniors and Tennessee transfer Tariq Owens will be available in 2016-17 after he sits out the upcoming season.

2016 New Mexico commit Mitch Lightfoot decides to reopen recruitment

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San Diego State wasn’t the only Mountain West program to lose a 2016 commitment on Friday. 6-foot-8 forward Mitch Lightfoot, one of the top players in the southwest, announced his decision to de-commit from New Mexico Friday afternoon by way of his Twitter account. Lightfoot originally committed to New Mexico last September, nearly two full years before he’s due to set foot on a college campus.

With that being the case, a decision to open things up in order to make sure the right choice is made is understandable. In a story written by Richard Obert of the Arizona Republic, Lightfoot’s high school coach stated that the de-commitment does not eliminate New Mexico as a possible destination.

“He was young when he committed,” Gilbert (Arizona) Christian head coach Kurt Keener told Obert. “It’s not like he is eliminating New Mexico. He just wants to explore what is out there.”

Among the other offers Lightfoot had to choose from at the time of his commitment were those from Utah and Arizona State (the ASU offer came from the prior staff, of course). And according to Obert’s report Arizona State, which is now led by Bobby Hurley, has reached out to him in the aftermath of the de-commitment.

Prior to Lightfoot’s decision to reopen his recruitment New Mexico managed to land commitments from two of the top players in Arizona, with incoming freshman Dane Kuiper being the first.

New Mexico crosses state line into Arizona for first 2016 commitment

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The State of Arizona has proven to be a fertile recruiting ground for the New Mexico basketball program. Last July head coach Craig Neal landed a verbal commitment from 2015 shooting guard Dane Kuiper, and on Sunday he received a verbal commitment from another of the state’s top high school prospects.

6-foot-8 power forward Mitch Lightfoot, who will attend Gilbert Christian HS in Gilbert, Arizona after spending his first two years at Ironwood Ridge HS in Tucson, announced his decision to become a Lobo. Lightfoot, a member of the Class of 2016, made his decision on the heels of an unofficial visit to the school this weekend.

Both Lightfoot and Kuiper were on the New Mexico campus this weekend, with the latter taking his official visit to the school.

As a sophomore at Ironwood Ridge, Lightfoot posted averages of 15 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.9 blocked shots per contest. The majority of New Mexico’s front court newcomers this season are juniors (junior college transfers Jordan Goodman, J.J. Nganga and Tim Williams Jr.), meaning that there are at least three spots for the Lobos to account for ahead of the 2016-17 season.

Adding Lightfoot to the equation helps in that regard, and it will be interesting to see how he develops over the next two years.