Donovan Mitchell released his top 10 schools on July 31st. The schools in the order he tweeted them: Providence, Creighton, Florida St, Indiana, Georgetown, Villanova, Louisville, Kansas, Boston College, UNC. He then said he would likely release a top 5 list at the end of August after taking some visits. Instead, he released a top 5 list on August 3rd before taking any visits. He has since taken an unofficial visit to Villanova on August 4th and will be at Louisville for his first official visit on August 7th-8th.
I'll take a look at each school remaining on the list and try to break them all down.
Note: All scholarship numbers are courtesy of VerbalCommits.com.
Scholarships open: 7
Now that the Eagles have made Mitchell's final 5 it appears he is seriously considering being "the guy" on a rebuilding team. He recently was quoted as saying:
“They pretty much told me that I’m gonna be their guy from the get-go; just going out there and being able to showcase my game and play through mistakes. Coach [Jim] Christian and I would both be new, so just being able to go through both the low points and the high points together.”
Ironically this may sound a bit familiar to Friar fans as this was basically Ed Cooley's recruiting pitch 3+ years ago when he was first hired to clean up Keno Davis' mess. I get the sense that Mitchell would rather be on a winner but the allure of helping to build that winner seems to be a bit of an attraction.
Scholarships open: 2
Mitchell visited Florida State unofficially during a family vacation back in June and the coaching staff was tracking him throughout July. Mitchell told CityofBasketballLove.com's Ari Rosenfeld that he is trying to plan another visit to Florida State in September. The Seminoles do have plenty of minutes available at the guard positions but would seem to be a bit more of a longshot than the other schools at this point.
Mitchell did say that he liked that the staff at FSU talked to him about life as well as basketball which would seem to be something he also heard from Ed Cooley. I also don't believe the distance from his hometown of Elmhurt, NY would play a major factor if he decided to attend Florida State especially since his grandmother lives in the Atlanta area. Finally, the Seminoles have a former Brewster Academy guard in Aaron Thomas so that's just one other tidbit about the FSU connection.
Scholarships open: 0
With their lack of open scholarships and the heavy interest from other guards in 2015, Donovan Mitchell may have set up his official visit to Louisville early in August to try to beat others to the punch if he loves the visit enough. I would venture to guess that Louisville is Providence's main competition for Mitchell at present. The Cardinals will also be Mitchell's first overnight official visit. There is a distinct possibility that he may not make it out of Louisville without committing. If he does make it home without committing that's a good sign for the Friars.
It appears as if Louisville has two spots they are looking to fill in the class of 2015 (expectations are that Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier will leave early and turn pro after this season) and Mitchell joins PJ Dozier, Antonio Blakeney and Prince Ali. Dozier is planning on visiting Louisville on August 31st, Blakeney is planning on visiting Louisville sometime in September and Prince Ali is planning on visiting Louisville on September 6th. The thinking from Louisville fans seem to be that Pitino would take the first two to commit of these four and Mitchell is the first to visit.
Scholarships open: 4
No one has been on Donovan Mitchell longer than Ed Cooley and the Friars. Cooley and his staff even went to all of Mitchell's AAU games last summer while he was on the bench injured with a broken wrist sustained playing baseball last spring. There really isn't much more than can be done in a recruitment. Providence was the first high major offer and they never relented their interest or wavered in their recruitment. Ed Cooley has been a consistent face at Brewster Academy while recruiting some of Mitchell's teammates as well (though we know how that has gone so far!).
The situation at Providence would mean Mitchell would come in and have a lot of minutes available on a good and growing team. The situation is sort of like the opportunity at Boston College but in year 3 or 4 of the rebuild instead of year 1. Winning the Big East Tournament last season was a bit ahead of schedule for most Friar fans but it also hasn't had the recruiting bump many expected. This is a win that Friar fans could ride into the season and be ecstatic with the 2015 class with 2 more spots to fill!
Scholarships open: 3
Mitchell seemed to really enjoy his visit to Villanova on Monday even going as far as saying "it was amazing, it blew me away for sure." Mitchell has always mentioned academics as a factor in his decision and he liked what he saw from Villanova on that front.
Perhaps when he sits down and truly thinks about it though he will think about the fact that Villanova has a talented and young backcourt already including a 4 star recruit already committed in 2015 in Donte Divincenzo. Jay Wright does have a history of playing 3 and even 4 guard lineups though so maybe Mitchell will be convinced that minutes will be there with the Wildcats.
While some Friar fans have been nervous about Mitchell stating he likes a big school and about the recent offers from blue bloods, in the end it will come down to what Mitchell feels in his heart. "Like I said, my heart felt that I was ready to cut my list to five, so when and where my hear feels it's time to commit, that's when all that is going to happen," he told COBL.com. Hopefully his heart feels right in Friartown.
You can find more of Mike's work on his site, pcbb1917.com and you can also follow him on Twitter @pcbb1917.
Donovan's Decision Part 2
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