Mickey Mitchell is one of Ohio State's three, prized recruits in the class of 2015 and the Texas Titans AAU coach is trying to make sure it stays that way.
No, it has nothing to do with his brother's transfer. Mitchell's back and knee are the priorities, after he recently experienced back pain and tore an ACL while playing football in his sophomore year. Now a rising senior, Mitchell is focusing on basketball and still working his way into to the form that made him a highly rated recruit.
This past season, Mitchell played in his first hoops game since the summer after his freshman year. On the AAU stage, he's easing into things. He started only one game so far in EYBL action, averaging 17.4 minutes per game. Those stats don't reflect his impact, however.
Mitchell has played long stretches as a "point-forward" and is averaging 5.2 assists in the 10 games he's played. Saturday, in Hampton, Va., the Texas Titans took on MOKAN Elite (Kansas), and Mitchell displayed his superb awareness.
While it would've been great to see him fly in the open court, MOKAN severely limited his ability to do so. Teammate Tyler Davis (6-feet, 10 inches tall and 275 pounds) is the main reason why the Titans' half-court offense runs through the post and Mitchell did not deviate from that game plan. On back-to-back possessions, he passed up open threes for a pair of well-executed post-entry feeds – one being a difficult lob pass over a fronting defender.
To see for yourself, check him out (with teammate Soso Jamabo, an Ohio State football target) in the full-length game, below. Mitchell – No. 00 – checks in with 12:22 remaining in the first half, which is around the 6:00 mark in the video.
Giddens Also Shines in Virginia
The Each1Teach1 AAU squad counts incoming Buckeye freshman D'Angelo Russell among its alums, and could produce another Ohio State recruit.
Daniel Giddens, a five-star recruit from Georgia, is one of Thad Matta's top priorities in the 2015 class (same with his high school teammate, Jaylen Brown). During this past weekend's EYBL session, Giddens spoke to SNY.tv's Jason Morrow about his interest in OSU.
"I talk to them every week; twice, three times a week maybe," Giddens said. "There is a great relationship with Coach [Thad] Matta."
E1T1's big man cut his list to six in February, which included Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Kansas, in addition to Ohio State. By NCAA rules, coaches were not allowed to watch Giddens (or any other recruit), but the media in attendance were impressed by his potential:
If Daniel Giddens ever puts all the pieces together, his potential is scary. Has all the physical tools to be an NBA guy in a few years.
— Corey Albertson (@Corey_Albertson) May 18, 2014
Bragg Talks OSU, UK
As a member of an Adidas-outfitted team, Carlton Bragg was not at the Nike EYBL event in Virginia.
Instead, he competed with the Ohio Basketball Club at the Adidas Gauntlet session in Indianapolis. Bragg spoke to the Courier-Journal about his recruitment, saying Kentucky, Ohio State, Arizona and Illinois are after him. Apparently, the Buckeyes are more desperate for Bragg since losing fellow Ohioan Luke Kennard to Duke.
"They keep direct-messaging me (on Twitter)," Bragg said, "that they keep losing Ohio kids."
Although college basketball's top closer, John Calipari, is a major threat to land Bragg, his recruitment is far from over. Bragg has yet to use any of his five official visits, and plans to wait until the fall to cut his list of schools.
Here are highlights of his performance in Indy (via NextUpRecruits):