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Minnesota Basketball: Gophers land PG Mike Mitchell Jr. from the portal

Mike Mitchell Jr. is transferring from Pepperdine to the Gophers and Ben Johnson has his PG for 2023

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Pepperdine Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When Ta’Lon Cooper decided to enter the portal, point guard became the Gopher’s biggest offseason need. And they have filled that void with Mike Mitchell Jr, from Pepperdine.

A point guard was desperately needed and Ben Johnson landed a good one. He was on campus this past weekend and made the quick decision to be a Gopher. Let’s get to know Mitchell a little.

Mike Mitchell Jr

Pos: PG
Ht: 6’2”
Wt: 185

Mitchell was actually a highly recruited guard out of the San Jose area and landed at Pepperdine. He was rated as a 4-star recruit at one point, was the 9th-best player in the state of California and was one of the top players in the Bay Area as a senior. Considered a steal for Lorenzo Romar and the Waves, he started immediately at PG in both years he was playing in Malibu.

As a sophomore, he averaged 11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5 assists per game. After the solid assist numbers, perhaps his 73/166 (44.%) shooting from three is what stands out the most.

Mitchell is going to bring a player who will run the offense, distribute the ball and contribute to rebounding while hitting open shots. He rarely gets to the line and I suspect Mitchell will not be creating a lot opportunities with quick-twitch drives to the rim.

What is next?

Landing a point guard was critical for the Gophers and Mitchell being the first portal commit of the offseason can bring some relief to Gopher fans. He will likely be starting here for the next 2 seasons, bridging the gap for Isaac Asuma who presumably will take over the reigns in his sophomore season.

So what is next? Well, with the team losing 3 starters plus Taurus Samuels, a lot of help is still needed, especially in the backcourt. Another guard and a forward are definitely needed yet. A combo guard who can give some minutes at the point and probably an athletic SF are the primary needs. There are plenty of scholarships to go around for the next two seasons (and those are fluid anyway). I do expect a couple more portal signees in the coming weeks.