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Texas expected to host UMass transfer Tre Mitchell this weekend

The Horns continue to pursue final pieces for Chris Beard’s first team, but there is a potential complication in Mitchell’s recruitment.

NCAA Basketball: Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament-Massachusetts vs Saint Louis Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After a flurry of transfer additions in mid-April, NCAA transfer portal recruiting has slowed down for the Texas Longhorns, but that may change this weekend as head coach Chris Beard and his staff are expected to host UMass Minutemen transfer center Tre Mitchell, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

One of the most coveted transfers on the market, Mitchell has also recently visited Florida State after narrowing his list to six schools last month — Bryant, Florida State, Illinois, Georgia, LSU, and Texas.

A 6’9, 240-pounder, Mitchell was a top-100 prospect in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He chose UMass over finalists Notre Dame and UConn.

Mitchell fulfilled his promise quickly, averaging 17.7 points per game on 48.1-percent shooting and grabbing 7.2 rebounds per game as a freshman. As a sophomore, Mitchell maintained his production despite only playing in 13 games, scoring 18.8 points per contest and matching his per-game rebounding from the 2019-20 season.

Notably, Mitchell also improved his three-point shooting to 37.5 percent and hit 76.8 percent of his free throws. A better shot blocker as a sophomore, Mitchell reduced his turnovers per game, too.

But there is a complication in Mitchell’s recruitment — his former high school coach Tony Bergeron. A one-time program director for the Five-Star Basketball Camp, Bergeron moved into high school basketball coaching, eventually landing at Woodstock Academy in Connecticut. Bergeron took a job on the UMass staff as Woodstock became a key pipeline for the Minutemen.

When Mitchell entered the transfer portal, however, UMass bought out the final year of Bergeron’s contract.

Less than a month ago, there was heavy speculation that Mitchell and Bergeron were once again a package deal — Bergeron is even engaged to Mitchell’s mother. But it does not appear that there are any openings for assistant coaches at the six programs Mitchell was considering last month.

With Mitchell visiting the Forty Acres, perhaps the hopes of player and coach uniting at a third stop have gone by the wayside. The fact that Mitchell is even traveling to Austin seems to support that belief.

Regardless of the connections between Mitchell and Bergeron, the center is known as a high-character player who excelled academically at UMass in addition to proving himself a force on the court.