Hoops Recruiting Notebook: Mickey Mitchell at the Peach Jam

By Mike Young on July 23, 2014 at 2:45p
Mickey Mitchell is the TRUTH

The last two weeks of July means we're nearing the end of the AAU season, and it's also one of the most stressful times of the year for college coaches.

Besides this signaling the final stages of high-level competition, after July 27, members of college staffs will have to wait over a month before evaluating prospects or recruit them off campus. By that time, coaches will be more heavily invested in spending time with their current teams rather than potential members of future teams. 

With that in mind, virtually every major college head coach was in attendance at the EYBL Finals, otherwise known as the Nike Peach Jam. The final session of the Nike AAU circuit included two Ohio State commits and one Buckeye target. 

Russ Daum – who you can find on Twitter, @RussDaum2 – also took in some of the action and provided Eleven Warriors a detailed scouting report on many of the recruits who played in the Peach Jam.

In part one of his thorough Peach Jam analysis, he watched Buckeye pledge commit Mickey Mitchell compete with the Texas Titans. 

Mitchell Affecting Games In Many Ways

Surrounded by a team with three guards committed to Big XII schools – Avery Johnson Jr., King McClure and Alex Robinson – as well as two highly-rated forwards – Tyler Davis and D.J. Hogg – Mickey Mitchell has taken on the task of distributing the basketball.

Scouts say few do it better than Mitchell:

We were all amazed by his athletic prowess on film, particularly when he takes to the air in the open court, but he put together an equally impressive passing display during AAU competition. Opponents know this and try to slow his team down in transition. This was the case when Daum watched Mitchell against the Jackson Tigers.

"Mitchell didn't get a lot done to stuff the stat sheet with in this game. In the first half, he was on the wing most of the time offensively," Daum said. "His job appeared to be to move the ball via the pass and to man in the high-post position versus a zone."

According to Daum, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta and assistant Dave Dickerson were also watching Mitchell in this game, and saw the more understated aspects in his repertoire.

"To appreciate the context encasing the style Mitchell uses to play it's important to know how the Titans are built. Hogg is the best scoring option Mitchell's team has. Davis is a true post player who can easily hold his position on the block," Daum said. "The meat of Mitchell's play is built on basic fundamental plays where he makes the leap ahead in his head to create positive offensive plays by anticipating the current of action surrounding him and basing his next move on his best guess of what will occur."

Traditionally, as Daum said, Mitchell becomes more of a focal-point for his team's offense in the second half. That appeared to be the case in the Peach Jam.

"Mitchell essentially takes over handling the ball at the top of the offense in second half situations ... he excels at breaking down defenses from that spot," Daum said. "Mitchell can score if you give him a lane and he can get a shot off under heavy pressure, but his forte is drawing the defense and dropping off a pass to a Davis for a dunk or to Hogg on the perimeter for three."

In averaging six points per AAU contest, he was clearly not prolific in the scoring column, but Mitchell did produce 4.2 assists per game. He's a true his triple-double threat, also averaging 4.9 rebounds this season. 

That versatility and unselfishness is what Daum said is most alluring about Mitchell's game. 

"He wants to win and knows there's work to be done outside the glamor of scoring the ball while garnering style points," Daum said. "He'll make everybody around him better."

That was not enough for the Texas Titans, however, as they fell to the eventual Peach Jam champion NJ Playaz in the Elite Eight of bracket play. Still, during the course of the AAU season, Mitchell filled up a highlight reel, as well as the many columns on the stat sheet: 

King transferring Out of State

In non-Peach Jam news, former St. Vincent-St. Mary wing V.J. King is transferring to Paul VI in Fairfax, Virginia. 

As first reported by InsideMDSports' Jeff Ermann about a month ago, and recently confirmed by OhioHShoops.com's Kurt Stubbs, King will head to the Catholic prep school for his upcoming, junior year.

The five-star Buckeye target will depart LeBron James' alma mater for a school San Diego Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal briefly attended. Essentially, the state of Ohio traded a King for a King.

How this will affect the Buckeyes' recruiting effort is up for debate. For right now, they're in solid standing with King, who also has offers from Arizona, Connecticut, Georgetown and Michigan State. 

"I’ve talked to all the schools, but I don’t really have a personal relationship with any of the colleges," King recently told SNY.tv. "I have a relationship with Ohio State because they [were] the hometown team, but that’s about it."


Comments Show All Comments

buckeyeradar's picture

Mitchell is going to be another coach on the floor for Thad.  

I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box but I'm one of the most colorful.

+8 HS
RufusVonDufus's picture

Thad needs a coach on the floor because he constantly chokes in the final seconds of a game.    He is a surprisingly poor end-of-game coach.


-5 HS
AJBor41's picture

Won't argue your comment or downvote you, RVD, but would like to see cited examples of coaching chokery.

moopdawg's picture

I have criticized Matta in the past regarding some of his coaching decisions and some of the recruits he has brought in to the program.  However, the classes he has lined of for the future look to be incredible! Mitchell looks amazing.  As I look at the guys Thad is  bringing in for 2014 and 2015,  I'm feeling really  good about winning an NCAA basketball championship very soon - like within the next 3 years.

On a side note - I believe Kam Williams will surprise a lot of people.  I'm sure the kid is hungry to play after sitting out an entire year.  Just judging from his high school video, I like what his game brings to the table.

+2 HS
toad1204's picture

Lose Craft, bring in Mitchell...  Just need someone to step up this year.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+3 HS
ITWASME's picture

Russell my man, the kid is an amazing passer as well as scorer

+2 HS
MacG91's picture

Mitchell's game sounds a lot like Evan Turner's. But less of a scorer and more of a passer. 


osu07asu10's picture

Mitchell's game sounds a lot like Evan Turner's. But less of a scorer and more of a passer. 

Because he is left handed? By all accounts this article paints Mitchell as the consummate teammate, working within the constructs of an offense, finding open teammates, and sacrificing stat stuffing for victories...

How does that sound like a guy who his college teammate dubbed "The Villian", which is probably the nicest thing he had to say about him.

Carrying forward to the pros, his teammate called him selfish before another tried to fight him a few days later...

Even his former teammate and friend put him on blast for asking for a little help with car troubles...

No disrespect to Evan, who was a hell of a player for the buckeyes but Mickey Mitchell's game and style is nothing like Turner's.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

-5 HS
MacG91's picture

I didn't say how he acted as a person, I meant his skill set. He is tall, can handle well, has great vision and can put it on the floor and take it to the rim and make difficult shots. That was Turner's skill set and from what was said above it is also Mitchell's. I said nothing about personality and I stated he passes more. 

Also one person, Titus called him the Villian, and you can't really take him seriously. No one else has came out and said this, just a guy who rode the bench who is obsessed with attention. 


+1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Hibbert called him selfish. Stevenson punched him in the face. Turner has to dominate the ball in order to create offense and impact the game.

Mitchell does not

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

-9 HS
MacG91's picture

Plenty of people have been punched in the face in NBA locker rooms. 

There you go. Thats the difference. 

Also Turner averaged 6 assists per game the year he won the Naismith and 4 for his career. 


MacG91's picture

This was supposed to be a good comparison, quit trying to turn it into a bad one.


Damonbuckeye's picture

Evan Turner hit that half court shot vs scUM.. Just saying.. Also Hibbert is so much of a scrub I'd trade him straight up for Brittany Griner and she'd outplay him...

+6 HS
TedGinnIsFasterThanYou's picture

"... Brittany Griner and she'd she'd/he'd (?) outplay him ..."


+3 HS
ibuck's picture

Mitchell can score...but his forte is drawing the defense and dropping off a pass to a Davis for a dunk or to Hogg on the perimeter for three.

Hopefully, Thad will have guys who can score the trey as well as guys who can handle the ball for a dunk.

versatility and unselfishness is what...is most alluring about Mitchell's game.

After last season, that would be most welcome.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+1 HS
Terry Porter's picture

Good passer, highlight reel dunks, and a wing at 6'7"? Can I be the first to compare Mickey Mitchell to the incomparable LeBron James?

1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002, 2014, and counting.

My2Sons's picture

And hopefully the last.

+4 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

I'm so excited to watch Mickey's development over the next few years.

+1 HS
PasadenaBuckeye626's picture

Hopefully the big men pan out, so they can finish Mitchell's passes

Go Bucks!

+3 HS
EazyElmo's picture

That's all I've been asking about every big that's been recruited recently "How are their hands?" How many times have we seen a guard penetrate and dump it to a big man for an easy bucket only to see the big fumble with the pass, take a unnecessary dribble and get stripped. With DAR, Harris, and Mitchell coming in we will see even more passes inside so I hope Thompson's, Gidden's and Bell's hands are ready

+3 HS
PasadenaBuckeye626's picture

Well said.  Couldn't agree more

Go Bucks!

villagebuckeye's picture

I have watched two of his highlight clips.   Haven't seen him shoot a jumper yet.  Does he have an outside shot to keep the defense honest?

+1 HS