After debating whether or not the sign during the early or late signing period, Dallas (Tex.) Pinkston senior Tony Mitchell thrilled Mike Anderson, the Missouri basketball program and MIzzou fans. Rather than wait it out until the spring, the wildly athletic 6-foot-7 forward decided that he needed to end things sooner rather than later.
"I was really getting tired of it all," said Mitchell of the recruiting process. "I just wanted to go in there and get through with the recruiting process and make an early decision."
Built to play in an up and down, pressing style of play, Mitchell's brand of athletic and versatile play seemed to be a perfect for Missouri. But, for him the decision to attend Missouri went way beyond style of play. It had to do with the people involved with the basketball program.
"It was the family atmosphere. It was way past basketball. They really think about my future and not just on the court playing," said Mitchell of why he chose Missouri. "Me and Kimmie English were really cool. He was just hosting, driving me around and we were meeting a lot of people. It was a great visit. It wasn't wild partying or anything like that. That's why I liked it. I enjoyed just chilling and getting to know everybody."
Of course, Mitchell's future head coach made an impression as well.
"Coach A, he's real funny, real energetic and just real smooth. On top of all of that, he's a real good coach."
After watching Mitchell burst onto the national scene last summer with some dominating performances in Las Vegas, ShowMeMizzou.com was able to watch the future Tiger perform in Houston last weekend. Known for his athleticism, he didn't disappoint with several highlight jams. But, it was his skill and some off the dribble moves resulting in pretty jump shots that really stood out during his 30 point, 11 rebound, nine block and four assist effort.
"To describe me, I think I'm athletic and a versatile player who can do everything on the court," said Mitchell afterwards. "I don't really have a position because it doesn't matter to me. I'll play any position that anybody tells me to."
Missouri will need another impact scorer and help on the glass next season and Mitchell thinks he's the guy to help. He's also excited about a fellow Texan coming in to help out at the point.
"I think I can help them in a major way," said the senior of what he'll bring to the table as a freshman. "Whether it's rebounding, dribbling, or scoring. I'll be willing to do anything. Especially with a guy like Phil Pressey coming in passing me the ball. He worked me really hard to come there with him."
Looking ahead, Mitchell wants to keep up his rapid rate of improvement. He feels like he's getting better everyday and hopes that Tiger coaches and fans will get to see the best of him.
"It's not like there's one main focus for me. I think I need to work on everything. Strength, shooting, dribbling. Everything. Every, every, every, everything is what I can work on," said Mitchell.
"If I keep working, it's going to be a show. That's all I can say, it's going to be a show."