Why UK and LSU; Taz Tells Inside Kentucky!

In a special you won't find anywhere else on the internet, Inside Kentucky's Russ Blake in association with our very own, Mike Sullivan interviewed Taz Mitchell on his interest in LSU and Kentucky, and dares to ask the question, Why?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Tasmin Mitchell might not be a skyscraper or a high-flying athlete, but the blue collar 6-6 power/combo forward from Denham Springs H.S. in Louisiana has earned a slot among the nation's elite seniors with his consistently solid play.

Mitchell, who was averaging 16.7 points and 6.3 rebounds entering last night's semifinal game against the West, said that he's already narrowed his list to just a pair: Louisiana State and Kentucky.

"Those schools have showed the strongest interest, and they can get me placed at the next level," Mitchell said.

A rugged 247 pounder blessed with a strong upper body, Mitchell uses his bulk and strength to post up defenders and score on the low blocks. While he's not terribly quick or athletic, he understands where his bread is buttered and doesn't try to fool you. He's shooting 71 percent from the floor, so there's a battering efficiency to his game.

While he's able to step out and knock down the occasional jumper from the perimeter, Mitchell is really more of a four than a three, although he said he envisions himself as a three at the major college level.

"I need to work on my jumper and ball handling," he admitted. "I like to post people up, too, so that makes me a versatile three. I'm also quick with my dribble -- I can do it all, like a Charles Barkley."

And like Barkley, Mitchell appears set to hone his craft in the Southeastern Conference.

"I like the players at LSU, and [John] Brady is a pretty good coach," Mitchell said. "I like the players because I've played with them."

In fact, Mitchell has played with current Tiger Brandon Bass, as the tandem teamed together on the New Orleans Jazz traveling squad a few summers ago.

"I know how they play and they know how I play, so I fit in better over there," he said.

As quickly as he uttered those words, he also sung the praises of the Wildcat program.

"I like Tubby Smith because he's a great coach and he gets his kids to the next level," Mitchell added.

Mitchell said he plans on making a spring 2005 decision, but we'll certainly keep an eye on his situation as the July evaluation period unfolds.

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