Shelton Mitchell leaving Vanderbilt

With all the news of players returning to the Vanderbilt men’s basketball program for the 2015-16 season we were probably past due on news of someone leaving. That changed on Thursday when backup point guard Shelton Mitchell announced through the school that he is to transfer away from Nashville due to the always mysterious “personal reasons”.

Shelton Mitchell was a former four-star recruit who would have been entering his sophomore season with the ‘Dores next fall. His freshman season was something of a flop for a player who was ranked higher by the recruiting services than players like Riley LaChance and Wade Baldwin. Mitchell shot just 22.6 percent from three and led the team in turnovers per minute despite his limited time on the court.

Losing Mitchell is a blow for the Commodores, however. Players are not given the four-star label by accident and with three more years to grow into the system big things were expected of him down the road. For now it means that the guards currently with the program will have to absorb the minutes which are lost with Mitchell leaving, at least until some of the new recruits come in and learn the system.

On the plus side the split really does seem amicable. Thursday’s press release contained the following quotes from those involved:

“I loved my basketball experience at Vanderbilt playing for Coach Stallings and his staff and with a great group of guys we have on this team. However, I feel it is in my best interests to continue my college education elsewhere.” – Mitchell

“Shelton is a great young man from a great family and I have thoroughly enjoyed having him in our program. We wish him the very best as he moves forward with his college career.” – Head coach Kevin Stallings

A lack of playing time and a place on the depth chart he was not expecting almost certainly played a part in the Oak Hill Academy graduate’s decision. It would not be a shock to see him transfer somewhere closer to his Waxhaw, North Carolina home to continue his career. Like all within the program, we wish Mitchell well on his future basketball education, even if it is not with the Commodores.

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